Olivia Laing (born 14 April 1977) is a British writer, novelist and cultural critic. She is the author of four works of non-fiction, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, The Lonely City and Everybody, as well as an essay collection, Funny Weather, and a novel, Crudo. In 2018, she was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and in 2019, the 100th James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crudo. In 2019 she became an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.Called the "punk poet laureate", Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song is "Because the Night", which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978 and number five in the U.K. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.On November 17, 2010, Smith won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. The book fulfilled a promise she had made to her former long-time partner, Robert Mapplethorpe. She placed 47th in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Artists published in December 2010 and was also a recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.
Jon Krakauer (born April 12, 1954) is an American writer and mountaineer. He is the author of best-selling non-fiction books—Into the Wild; Into Thin Air; Under the Banner of Heaven; and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman—as well as numerous magazine articles. He was a member of an ill-fated expedition to summit Mount Everest in 1996, one of the deadliest disasters in the history of climbing Everest.
Alison Bechdel ( BEK-dəl; born September 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist. Originally known for the long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, she came to critical and commercial success in 2006 with her graphic memoir Fun Home, which was subsequently adapted as a musical that won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. In 2012, she released her second graphic memoir Are You My Mother? She was a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award. She is also known for originating the Bechdel test.
Cheryl Strayed (; née Nyland; born September 17, 1968) is an American writer and podcast host. She has written four books: the novel Torch (2006) and the nonfiction books Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012), Tiny Beautiful Things (2012) and Brave Enough (2015). Wild, which told the story of a long hike that Strayed took in 1995, was an international bestseller, and was adapted as the 2014 film Wild.
May Sarton was the pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995), a Belgian-American poet, novelist and memoirist. Although her best work is strongly personalised with erotic female imagery, she resisted the label of ‘lesbian writer’, preferring to convey the universality of human love.
Captain Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was a British poet, historical novelist and critic. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works in his lifetime. His poems, his translations and innovative analysis of the Greek myths, his memoir of his early life—including his role in World War I—Good-Bye to All That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration The White Goddess have never been out of print. He is also a renowned short story writer, with stories such as 'The Tenement' still being popular today He earned his living from writing, particularly popular historical novels such as I, Claudius; King Jesus; The Golden Fleece; and Count Belisarius. He also was a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts; his versions of The Twelve Caesars and The Golden Ass remain popular for their clarity and entertaining style. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God.
Helen Macdonald (born 1970) is an English writer, naturalist, and an Affiliated Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge Department of History and Philosophy of Science. She is best known as the author of H is for Hawk, which won the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book Award. In 2016, it also won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger in France.
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