Charles Baxter is the author of two novels, First Light and Shadow Play, the short story collections Harmony of the World, Through the Safety Net, A Relative Stranger and a book of poems, Imaginary Paintings. He has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1991, he was named a Woodrow Wilson Writing Fellow, won the Arts Foundation of Michigan Award in Literature and received the Lila Wallace - Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 1993, he was named Michigan Author of the Year. He teaches English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and writing at the Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Susan Cheever is the author of the novels Looking for Work, A Handsome Man, The Cage, Doctors and Women and Elizabeth Cole, a memoir of her father, John Cheever, Home Before Dark and a companion volume, a memoir about her mother's family, Treetops. She is a member of the Author's Guild Council and a Guggenheim Fellow. She lives in New York City, where she writes a parenting column for Newsday and is a contributing editor at Architectural Digest. Her next book, A Woman's Life :The Story of an Ordinary American and Her Extraordinary Generation, will be published by William Morrow in June 1994.

Mary Gordon is the author of the novels Final Payments, The Company of Women, Men and Angels and The Other Side, a collection of stories, Temporary Shelter, and of essays, Good Boys and Dead Girls. Her most recent work of fiction, three novellas titled The Rest of Life, was published by Viking in 1993. She has received the Lila Wallace - Reader's Digest Writers' Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She currently teaches at Barnard College in New York.