Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her newest novel, MaddAddam (2013) is the follow-up to The Year of the Flood (2009) and her Giller Prize winner, Oryx and Crake (2009). Other recent publications include The Door, a volume of poetry (2007), Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Additional titles include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Penelopiad. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle, and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible. He lives in Northern California with his family.
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He is the author of six novels: A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Premio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, Corine Internationaler Buchpreis, Serono Literary Prize, Casino de Santiago European Novel Award, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (2009) was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize. His new novel, The Buried Giant, will be published in spring 2015.
Robert Silvers was an editor of The Paris Review in Paris and Harper's Magazine in New York City before he co-founded the New York Review of Books in 1963. He was co-editor of the New York Review with Barbara Epstein until 2006 and has since been the editor. Among the many books he has edited are The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships, Hidden Histories of Science and The New York Review Abroad. A chevalier of the French Legion of honor, he is a longstanding trustee of The New York Public Library, among other institutions, and has received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Columbia and Oxford. In 2013, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
Anna Deavere Smith is both an actress and a playwrite. She has won the National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama, a MacArthur fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, two Tony nominations, and two Obies. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She has created over 15 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which deal with social issues. Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992, was performed around the country and on Broadway. Her most recent one-person show, Let Me Down Easy, focused on health care in the US. In popular culture you have seen her in Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married, and Philadelphia, among others. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines. She is founder and director of Anna Deavere Smith Works at the Aspen Institute and the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. She is a University Professor at New York University.