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Chrissie Gittins was born in Bury, Lancashire. Growing up meant realising that her brother got paid more on a Saturday for being a petrol pump attendant than she did for dropping milk jugs into shopping baskets at the Alpine Coffee Lounge. She changed jobs. Then studied at Newcastle University and St. Martin’s School of Art. Her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies, and her feature Poles Apart was broadcast on Radio 4 twice in the summer of 1994. American Tan is her first published short story.