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Lauren Belfer
photo of Lauren Belfer
  Lauren Belfer grew up in Buffalo, New York. She received her M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in New York City, where she now lives with her husband and son. City of Light is her first novel.

Kiran Desai
photo of Kiran Desai
  Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971 and educated in India, England and the United States, at Bennington College in Vermont, various writing programs, and currently at Columbia University. Writing is in her blood; her mother is the world-renowned novelist Anita Desai, now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The recipient of a Woolrich fellowship, Kiran will graduate from Columbia in May 1999. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and in Salman Rushdie's anthology Mirrorwork: Fifty Years of Indian Writing. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is her first novel.  
Scott Anderson
photo of Scott Anderson
  Along with the investigative journalist's urge to solve the mystery of Fred Cuny's disappearance in Chechnya, Scott Anderson was drawn into the story of the controversial "Master of Disaster" by his own experience. The son of a foreign aid official for the U.S. government, Scott spent most of his youth in the Third World, and watched his father pursue many of the same initiatives in an official capacity - agrarian reform, disaster relief - that Fred Cuny had devoted his life to as a freelance consultant.

"I saw a lot of similarities between my father and Fred," Scott says, "in that both were rebels, both had a kind of crusader's zeal about them, and both constantly battled against the humanitarian aid establishment. In charting Fred's life, both the good and bad things that happened to him, I felt I was seeing what my father's life might have been if he had made a couple of different choices."

Scott Anderson is the author or co-author of five previous books, including two with his brother, Jon Lee Anderson: Inside The League and War Zones. His first novel, Triage, was published last Fall to critical acclaim. A renowned war correspondent, he is a contributing editor at Harper's magazine, and a recipient of the Pope Foundation Award for Investigative Journalism, while his dispatches from the world's battlefields have appeared on the cover of a number of national publications, including the New York Times Magazine. He lives in a barely-furnished apartment in Brooklyn, which he shares with one hardy plant--the only kind he has found able to survive his frequent long absences.
Vikram Seth
photo of Vikram Seth
  Vikram Seth (rhymes with "gate") was born in Calcutta in 1952 and was trained as an economist at Oxford, Stanford, and Nanjing universities. He has lived in many different parts of the world, including England, California, China, and India.

Seth is the author of three books of poetry, a travelogue From Heaven's Lake, a book of animal fables, a book of translations of Chinese poetry, and a libretto. He has also published two novels. The Golden Gate, is told entirely in verse about yuppies in San Francisco, where Seth lived for awhile. A Suitable Boy received major attention, in part due to its sheer size, 1,349 pages, the longest single-volume work of English. It made Seth a literary celebrity.

Now Seth has written his first "conventional" novel, in terms of length and narrative style. An Equal Music was inspired by Seth's passion for music. Music has taken over Seth's life in myriad ways: he has recently writeen a libretto, and his poetry has been set to music and performed by England's National Opera. Trained in classical Indian music, sings lieder.

Frederick Busch
photo of Frederick Busch
  Born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Muhlenberg College and Columbia University, Fred Busch has published 23 books since 1971. His novels include The Mutual Friend, about Charles Dickens, as well as Rounds, Harry and Catherine, Closing Arguments, and Girls. He has received Woodrow Wilson, Ingram Merrill, National Endowment for the Arts, and Guggenheim Fellowships. He was the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for Achievement in the Short Story, the Jewish Book Award for his novel Invisible Mending, and his collection, the Children in the Woods, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. The American Academy of Arts and Letters has also honored him for his body of work. Busch is a Fairchild Professor of Literature at Colgate University, where he teaches literature and fiction writing and conducts the Living Writers course.

Amit Chaudhuri
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  Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay. A Creative Arts fellow at Oxford, he has contributed fiction, poetry, and criticism to various publications in Great Britain and the United States.

Adeline Yen Mah
photo of Adeline Yen Mah
  Adeline Yen Mah is a physician and writer who lives in Huntington Beach, California, and spends time as well in London and Hong Kong. Royalties from Falling Leaves have been donated by the author to a foundation modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship Program to enable students to study at universities in Beijing and Shanghai.

    Photo Credits: Lauren Belfer: Marion Ettlinger; Kiran Desai: Marion Ettlinger; Scott Anderson: Peter Svensson; Vikram Seth: Erwin Schenkelbach; Frederick Busch: John Hubbard; Amit Chaudhuri: James Brabazon; Adeline Yen Mah: Jason Bell