Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.
Francine Prose was born on April 1, 1947. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968. She received the PEN Translation Prize in 1988 and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. Francine Prose novel The Glorious Ones, has been adapted into a musical with the same title by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. It ran at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City in the fall of 2007. Prose has served as president of PEN American Center, a New York City based literary society of writers, editors, and translators that works to advance literature in 2007 and 2008. Prose novel, Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. One of her novels, Household Saints, was adapted for a movie by Nancy Savoca. In 2014 her title Lovers at the Chameleon Club - Paris 1932, made The New York Times Best Seller List.
Richard Sala grew up in Chicago and now spends his time in Berkeley, CA. His graphic novels include Mad Night, Peculia, Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires, Maniac Killer Strikes Again!, The Ghastly Ones, The Chuckling Whatsit, Cat Burglar Black, Delphine, and The Hidden.