Elizabeth McCracken has lived in Boston, Newton (MA), Portland (OR), London,
Iowa City (IA), Des Moines (IA), Philadelphia (PA), Provincetown (MA) and
Somerville (MA). She is very poor at assembling biographical information, as
she suspects she is fairly dull--or, at least, dull in summary. She is working
on a new novel.
Jonathan Lethem was born in New York City in 1964, and spent his childhood in
Kansas City and Brooklyn. He studied painting at the High School of Music and
Art in New York, and was briefly a student at Bennington College in Vermont,
but left without a degree.
His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, was publishing in 1994, and has been translated into German, French, Japanese, Polish, Russian, and Italian. His second novel, Amnesia Moon, was published in 1995. It will also be published in England, France, Poland, Russia, and Italy.
He has published over fifty short stories in a wide variety of periodicals and anthologies: Interzone, Exquisite Corpse, Asimov's SF, Crank, Century, and others. His third book, The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye, is a collection of seven stories. It was published in 1996.
Hugh Kennedy was born in Boston in 1965. Thanks to his complaints about
delivery room service, he and his mother enjoyed an extra two days' hospital
stay free of charge. He sent his first entrée (of French fries) back to
the chef at the age of eight, and once successfully returned a 10-year-old
field coat to L.L. Bean, claiming that it was wearing badly. He currently lives
in Waban, a Greater Boston village where the stores are owner-managed and the
merchants still remember your name.
"I grew up as a non-Mormon in Utah, and I have been a misfit ever since. I've
always felt on some border, between things: in urban environments, I have been
frequently confused and lost, mocked by hipsters; on ranches and in rural
areas, I have been derided as a pretender who didn't know his ass from his
elbow. Kindly. My struggle to understand things is what shows in my writing,
what causes me to do it.
I spent my first two years of college at Deep Springs College, an all-male institution in a remote valley just north of Death Valley at which the students are expected to work on the school's cattle ranch and take responsibility for administrative concerns, in addition to carrying an academic schedule. I was the head of admissions in my time there; I also worked moving irrigation lines, feeding animals, fixing cantankerous boilers, and killing chickens, cattle, pigs, sheep, and even goats; I read Marx, Derrida, Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, and argued with great conviction about what they meant. My two years at Yale were not as physically exciting, but did provide me with the first writing teacher who was willing to tell me I wasn't a genius. This realization helped me to at least work harder at it.
Since 1991, I have worked many jobs, including as a ranch hand in Montana and a security guard in an art museum New York, just trying to find time to write. I finished this novel in desperation, living in the middle of nowhere, lonely and crazed; around that time, I found out that I had been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, which provides me with funds and other support for two years. Now I am out in California, trying to become a better writer and a better person."
"I was born and raised in suburban Boston where members of my family still live. I moved to New York where I studied at Barnard and later settled, living
in Manhattan from 1979 to 1989 and Brooklyn for two years more. Throughout
those years I wrote fiction, worked in about 10 restaurants, and taught English
composition to the wildly international and diverse students at City College
and Baruch. I also began working with the V-Girls in 1986, a group still
active today, that developed from a study group devoted to reading impossibly
obscure brainy texts on psychoanalysis, feminism and politics, into a study and
performance group that has traveled around the US and Europe making
intellectual jokes. In 1990, I stopped writing fiction and devoted myself
fully to teaching.
While continuing a more sporadic association with the V-Girls, I moved to San Francisco in January of 1991 and taught high school for two years. Teaching high school was exhausting and the most difficult work I've ever done. In 1992, I moved into journalism, doing freelance writing, and eventually becoming a copy editor at one of San Francisco's daily papers. At Wired magazine I became a senior editor, and in 1994, during about a one-month lull in my workload there, decided to begin writing fiction again, after a four and a half-year lapse. I wrote As Francesca evenings and weekends, editing for Wired during the days. A few weeks after I completed the manuscript, I moved into the position of executive editor at HotWired."
|Photo Credits: Elizabeth McCracken: Sam McCracken; Jonathan Lethem: Ken Kobayashi; Hugh Kennedy: Mark Ostow; Martha Baer: Leslie Kossoff; Peter Rock: Linda Cicero|