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mark richard
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  Mark Richard is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Fishboy and the award-winning short story collection The Ice at the Bottom of the World, which won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award. He is also the recipient of such distinguished honors as the Whiting Foundation Award, the Mary Francis Hobson Medal of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Tennessee Williams Foundation. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review, and have been widely anthologized in such publications as Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, and The Pushcart Prize Annual. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is working on a new novel.  
 
allegra goodman
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  Allegra Goodman's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Allure, Food and Wine, Vogue, Commentary, and Slate. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award, and the Salon magazine award for fiction. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is at work on a second novel.  
 
peter rock
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  I was born in 1967 in Salt Lake City. Over the last ten years, I have lived in New York, Wisconsin, Montana, Utah, and California; these are, not coincidentally, the states explored in Carnival Wolves. I now live in Philadelphia, where I work as a subject for MRI and other brain imaging experiments. I will marry Ella Vining on August 8, 1998.  
 
robert girardi
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  Robert Girardi's life has followed a very unusual course. He was born in Virginia in 1961, and at the age of three, his family moved to Athens, Greece. In 1967 they moved Paris, France narrowly missing the 1968 political coup in Greece, during which the government was taken over by right-wing radicals. Although he did not know it at the time, both of his parents were working for the CIA. In keeping with family tradition, the Girardi's arrived in Paris just in time for the student riots of 1968. They stayed in France for 5 years, during which Girardi developed a strong interest in French literature, which would later influence his own writing.

In 1974, the family moved back to the United States, where Girardi attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He received his degree in 1983 with a double major in English and Studio Art. It was at UVA that Girardi's work was first noticed-three of his short stories were published in the Virginia Literary Review. After UVA he attended the Iowa Writers Workshop where he attained his MFA degree, then bought a car for $350 and moved cross-country to Los Angeles.

After 10 years of the punk scene in LA, years which included several weekend jail stints for unpaid parking tickets, and an additional semester at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Girardi moved back to Washington, DC permanently. Except for a year-long stint in New York City, he has lived there ever since. He is the author of Madeleine's Ghost, The Pirate's Daughter and Vaporetto 13, also published by Delacorte Press. His work has appeared in The New Republic, the Tri-Quarterly Review, and The Washington Post, and he is a past recipient of a James Michener Fellowship. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.
 
 
albert french
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  Albert French was born and raised in Homewood, Pennsylvania, and was sent to Vietnam at the age of 21 to serve four years in the U.S. Marines. Wounded in a battle that also killed a close friend, he returned after the war to Pittsburgh, where he worked as a medical photographer and photojournalist. In 1981, he created the Pittsburgh Preview Magazine. After the magazine dissolved, he began writing, producing a memoir of his experiences in Vietnam, Patches of Fire: A Story of War and Redemption. He showed the memoir to his cousin, John Edgar Wideman, who urged him to publish it. Despite some encouragement, Mr. French was unable to find a publisher immediately, so he put the manuscript aside and decided to try fiction.

His acclaimed first novel, Billy, was based on the actual trial and execution of a ten-year-old boy in Mississippi. Holly, a novel about an interracial romance set in North Carolina, followed soon after, and the success of the two novels finally launched Patches of Fire into print. This November saw the world premiere of Monument, a composition by David Sampson that is the first major American orchestral work dedicated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Performed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the piece was inspired in part by Patches of Fire (the subtitle of the piece, "Time Only Heals a Clean Wound," is in fact a quotation from French's book. Patches of Fire will be published in paperback in August of 1998, concurrent with the publication of I Can't Wait on God.
 
 
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    Photo Credits: Mark Richard: Bill Hayward; Allegra Goodman: Marion Ettlinger; Peter Rock: Frank Oudeman; Robert Girardi: Kelly Campbell; Albert French: Jen Saffron.