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contributors  
 
adam gussow
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  Adam Gussow is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Princeton. His articles and book reviews have appeared in Harper's, Boston Review, the Village Voice, and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York.  
 
helen schulman
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  Helen Schulman teaches fiction at Columbia University and is the author of the short story collection Not a Free Show, the novel Out of Time, and co-editor of the anthology Wanting a Child. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City.  
 
peter ackroyd
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  Peter Ackroyd is a prizewinning writer. His biographies include T.S. Eliot and Blake; he is the recipient of the Whitbread Biography of the Year Award and joint winner of the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinneman Award. His novels include Chatterton, Hawksmoor, and most recently, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree and Milton in America. He lives in London.

Click here to read an excerpt from Peter Ackroyd's most recent novel, Milton in America, previously featured in Bold Type.
 
 
patti smith
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  Patti Smith is the internationally acclaimed poet and musician whose records include Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Wave, Dream of Life, Gone Again, and most recently, Peace and Noise. She is also the author of Witt, Babel, Wool Gathering, and The Coral Sea.  
 
vladimir nabokov
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  Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg on April 23, 1899. His family fled to Germany in 1919, during the Bolshevik Revolution. Nabokov studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1919 to 1923, then lived in Berlin (1923-1937) and Paris (1937-1940), where he began writing, mainly in Russian, under the pseudonym Sirin. In 1940 he moved to the United States, where he pursued a brilliant literary career (as a poet, novelist, critic, and translator) while teaching literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. The monumental success of his novel Lolita(1955) enabled him to give up teaching and devote himself fully to his writing. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. Recognized as one of the century's master prose stylists in both Russian and English, he translated a number of his original English works--including Lolita--into Russian, and collaborated on English translations of his Russian works.

 
 
susan minot
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  Susan Minot was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Manchester-by-the-Sea. She studied writing and painting at Brown University and received an MFA in writing from Columbia University. After publishing short stories in Grand Street and The New Yorker she was offered a contract for a novel by the legendary publisher Seymour Lawrence, who was to publish her next three books. His initial support for "a work of fiction" became Monkeys, nine stories which together make up a novel about the Vincent family, a New England family of seven children with a Catholic mother and Brahmin-background father. The stories cover twelve years in the life of the children, their mother's "monkeys," during which a tragic accident alters their lives. It was published in a dozen countries and won the Prix Femina Etranger in France in l987. The novel was followed by Lust & Other Stories, a collection about wayward artists and journalists living in New York City, particularly about the relations between men and women in their twenties and thirties having difficulty coming together and difficulty breaking apart.

Her third book, Folly, set in the twenties and thirties in Boston, is a novel about a woman from a stifling Brahmin background whose choice of a husband is the determining factor in her life, and about the two different men she falls in love with. The challenge Minot set for herself was to write about a place and society which had always disturbed her and to try to imagine how a woman who was not an idiot could stay in that world.

In l994 she was contacted by the director Bernardo Bertolucci with the idea of developing his idea for a screenplay about a young American girl visiting English expatriate artists living in Tuscany and having a "sentimental education." She had always been interested in cinema as a student and moviegoer. Stealing Beauty was a collaboration with the director. It was filmed in the summer of l995, north of Siena, where she was given the opportunity to continue polishing and learning on the set.

Evening is the story of a woman on her deathbed who amidst the delirium and images of her past full life relives a love affair she had forty years earlier, when at twenty-five she attended the wedding of her best friend on an island in Maine. As her children wait and tend to her, she remembers minutely the details of those three days when she met a man, a time which emerges from marriages and divorces and children as being the high point of her life. Evening has been optioned by Kennedy/Marshall at Disney, with Minot currently working on the adaptation for the screen.

Having spent too many years in one place, bent over paper writing, Minot, who has an apartment in New York City, finds herself traveling and away from home much of the time.

 
 
raymond carver
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  Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first collection of stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please, (a National Book Award Nominee in 1977), was followed by What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1984), and Where I'm Calling From in 1988, when he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in August of that year, shortly after completing the poems of A New Path to the Waterfall.

 
 
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    Photo Credits: Helen Schulman: Walter Smith; Peter Ackroyd: Roderick Field ; Patti Smith: Kate Simon Photography; Vladimir Nabokov: Jerry Bauer; Susan Minot: Michael Sasso; Raymond Carver: Marion Ettlinger.