Talarigo was born in Pennsylvania in 1961 and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1983.
Over the next seven years Talarigo worked as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist. In 1990 Talarigo embarked on a three month journey by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan and back. This was Talarigo's first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return to live in 1993. From 1991 to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan where he taught English and began writing fiction.
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