Amy Gustine is an American writer. She is the author of the short story collection You Should Pity Us Instead, a finalist for the 2017 Ohioana Book Award in Fiction. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal. She is the recipient of an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and a Pushcart Prize XXXII Special Mention for her story “Goldene Medene”.
Steven Schwartz is an American author. He grew up outside Chester, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Colorado for the past thirty-two years. He is the author of four story collections, Little Raw Souls (Autumn House), To Leningrad in Winter (University of Missouri), Lives of the Fathers (University of Illinois), Madagascar: New and Selected Stories (Engine Books), and two novels, Therapy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and A Good Doctor’s Son (William Morrow). His fiction has received the Nelson Algren Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, the Cohen Award, the Colorado Book Award for the Novel, two O. Henry Prize Story Awards, the Foreword Review Gold Medal for Short Stories, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, and Bread Loaf. His essays have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, The Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, Image, and have been awarded the Cleanth Brooks Prize in Nonfiction from The Southern Review. He teaches in the low-residency writing program at Warren Wilson College and the MFA program at Colorado State University, where he also serves as fiction editor for the Colorado Review. Married to the writer Emily Hammond, they have two grown children.
*Author’s official website
Washington Irving was born in New York in 1783 to a family of Scottish origin. Irving was the youngest of 11 children, only eight of which survived to reach adulthood. Also a historian and a biographer, Irving became one of the first American writers to be widely accepted in Europe as an American author. Irving is thought to have been the first American author whose stories take place in the United States. Irving died at the age of 76 in Tarrytown, New York, where Sunnyside, his homestead, has become a tourist attraction.
Jack London was born in San Francisco in 1876. In his earlier years, he worked, among other occupations, as a fisherman, a journalist, and as a sailor. As part of the Gold Rush, London went to Alaska but returned from there penniless. These experiences greatly influenced his literary writing. Among his best-known works are the novels The Call of the Wind, The Sea-Wolf, White Fang and The Iron Heel, as well as the short story “To Build a Fire,” which was written and published in two different versions. His writing is known to have an influence on naturalism in literature and on the genre of science fiction. London died in 1916, at the age of forty.
Johnny Gruelle was an American author and illustrator best known for his children’s series Raggedy Ann and Andy, as well as the very popular Mr. Twee Deedle cartoon. He was born December 24th, 1880 in Arcola, Illinois. Johnny Gruelle eventually created over forty Raggedy Ann and Andy books, all capturing his unique version of childhood.
Writer, poet, and playwright Gertrude Stein was born in 1874 to a Jewish family of German origin in Pennsylvania. In the 1920s, she moved to Paris, France, where she established a literary salon which became a house to renowned authors such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. In her literary writings, Stein developed the stream of consciousness technique and made significant use of the concept of the subconscious. Stein died in Paris in 1946 and was buried there.
Born in 1871 in Newark, New Jersey, author and poet Stephen Crane is considered to have influenced American literature, among others the writing of Ernest Hemingway. Crane grew up in a Methodist family and began writing at the age of four. As a journalist, he was sent to Cuba as a military correspondent, when the ship sank off the coast of Florida, an incident he has later depicted in his short story, “The Open Boat.” Later, he served as a military correspondent in Greece and then moved to England. Crane died in 1900 from tuberculosis, at the age of 28, at a sanatorium in Germany.
Idra Novey is an American novelist, poet, and translator. the author of the novel Ways to Disappear, winner of the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into ten languages. She’s written for The New York Times, the LA Times, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She’s also translated four books from Spanish and Portuguese, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
Ringgold Wilmer Lardner was born in 1885 in a small town in Michigan. Shortly before World War I, after working in several small newspapers as a sports reporter, he began writing for the Chicago Tribune. Lardner continued to write on sports, but also served as political correspondent in the war front in France. Lardner also wrote satire, describing life in the United States and the European front of World War I, as well as skits, songs, and short plays. Friend to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the day-to-day themes in his writing, as well as its simple style, influenced the young Ernst Hemingway, who used the pen name “Ring Lardner” for his earliest publications. Lardner died in New York in 1933 from tuberculosis.
Todd Hasak-Lowy is an American writer and Professor of creative writing and literature at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. He was formerly an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Literature at the University of Florida and has a PHD from Berkeley. His first book, The Task of this Translator,a short story collection, was published in 2005. His first novel, Captives, appeared in fall 2008. His latest work is a narrative memoir for young adults, Somewhere There is Still a Sun, co-written with Holocaust survivor Michael Gruenbaum, and published in 2015. 33 Minutes, his first middle-grade novel, was published in 2013, and Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You, his first young adult novel was published in 2015. Todd lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife two daughters.
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