After her family migrated to Australia to escape apartheid, Malla Nunn graduated with a double degree in English and History and then earned a master of arts in Theater Studies from Villanova University. Faced with a life of chronic under-employment, she dabbled in acting and screenwriting. She wrote and directed three award-winning films including Servant of the Ancestors, which won best documentary awards at film festivals in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Zanzibar and was shown on national television in Australia. She has published several adult books and has received two Edgar Award nominations. She married in a traditional Swazi ceremony. Her bride price was eighteen cows. She now lives and works in Sydney, Australia.