Rachel Cusk is the author of six novels, including most recently Arlington Park, and one nonfiction book. She is a winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Award. In 2003 she was among Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in England.
Yiyun Li's work has been published in The New Yorker, Zoetrope: All-Story, and elsewhere. She has received grants and awards from the Lannan Foundation and the Whiting Foundation and was among Granta's Best of Young American Novelists.
Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz became the Arab world's first Nobel laureate in literature in 1988. He has since won many international awards, and was inducted as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992. Seriously wounded in a 1994 knife attack by Islamist militants in alleged revenge for his 1959 novel, Children of the Alley, Mahfouz, now ninety-three, lives on the Nile in Agouza (Greater Cairo) with his wife and two daughters. His forthcoming collection, The Seventh Heaven: Supernatural Stories, will be published in January 2006 by the American University in Cairo Press.
David Means is the author of four story collections, including The Spot, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and Assorted Fire Events, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was recently reissued in a new edition by Faber. He is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Eric Puchner teaches at Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. His short stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and the anthologies Pushcart Prize XXVIII and Best New American Voices 2005. His first collection of stories, Music Through the Floor, will be published in November 2005 by Scribner.
R. T. Smith's new collection of stories, Uke Rivers Delivers, was released by LSU Press. He is editor of Shenandoah, and his work is included in the 2006 volumes of Best American Mystery Stories and New Stories from the South.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007) was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention with The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as a true artist with Cat’s Cradle in 1963. Look at the Birdie, a collection of his previously unreleased short fiction, will be published by Delacorte Press in October 2009.
Mike Figgis makes films (Leaving Las Vegas, Timecode, Hotel, among them), writes music, and takes photographs. He lives in London.