Don DeLillo, American novelist, was born in New York City in 1936 and attended Fordham University. DeLillo's novels address 20th century themes such as the paranoia, alienation, and angst engendered by life in modern society. He is a master of language, wit, and the truths of man's search for meaning as he explores various subcultures such as football, rock music, and technology. His works include his first novel, Americana, Running Dog, and White Noise. His book Libra examines the minds of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. DeLillo also writes short stories and has written one play, The Engineer of Moonlight. Don DeLillo has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979, an American Academy Award in 1984, and the American Book Award in 1985.
Richard Powers was born on June 18, 1957 in Evanston, Illinois. He received a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts and worked as a computer programmer and freelance data processor. One day he saw August Sander's 1914 black-and-white photograph of three Westerwald farm boys heading to a dance at the Museum of Fine Arts. This photograph inspired him to quit his job and try writing a novel. Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance was published in 1985. His other works include Prisoner's Dilemma; The Gold Bug Variations; Operation Wandering Soul; Galatea 2.2; Plowing the Dark; The Time of Our Singing; and Generosity: An Enhancement. He has won numerous awards including the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction for Gain, the National Book Award for The Echo Maker, and a Lannan Literary Award.