William Maxwell was born in 1908, in Lincoln, Illinois. When he was fourteen his family moved to Chicago. He continued his education there and at the University of Illinois. After a year of graduate work at Harvard he went back to Urbana and taught freshman composition, and then turned to writing. He has published six novels, three collections of short fiction, an autobiographical memoir, a collection of literary essays and reviews, and a book for children. For forty years, he was a fiction editor at The New Yorker. From 1969 to 1972 he was president of the National Institue of Arts and Letters. He has received the Brandeis Creative Arts Award Medal and, for So Long, See You Tomorrow, the American Book Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in 2000.