Born in Toluca, a small provincial Mexican city, Chimal saw his first books published before he was twenty. Some years later he relocated to his country's capital to begin his career in earnest. While for several years his writings earned him a status nearer to that of a cult figure (rather than that of a bestselling novelist, for example) he is regarded as one of the most talented and original writers of his country, and he now has a fatihful (and growing) audience for his works, which is a very unusual accomplishment for Mexican writers. He has been featured in many anthologies both in Mexico and abroad, and is also a very busy and sought-after literature professor and creative writing teacher. He still lives in Mexico City with his wife, writer Raquel Castro, and two cats. His second novel, "La torre y el jardín" ("The Tower and the Garden") was published to considerable acclaim in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos Award, one of the most prestigious awards for Spanish-language novels, in 2013.