Augusten X. Burroughs was born with the name of Christopher Richter Robison in Pittsburgh, PA in 1965. At the age of 18, he chose the name Augusten X. Burroughs and legalized it in a Boston courtroom. He was raised in Western Massachusetts, after his mother had abandoned him to live with her psychiatrist. Burroughs dropped out of school at 13, his mother and her shrink helping him fake a suicide attempt, got his GED at 17 and then flunked out of community college. Burroughs survived a harrowing childhood, but used it and the strength he gained from surviving to springboard his literary career. He has been a dog trainer, candy store clerk, waiter, sail cutter, store detective and, from the age of 19, an advertising copywriter. Burroughs lived in San Francisco for five years, then moved to New York in the early 1990s. Burroughs writes memoirs (including the bestseller Running with Scissors which was made into a movie in 2006), as well as a sex column in DETAILS magazine, the occasional commentary for NPR, articles for New York Magazine, and essays for salon.com, Borders and Booksense.
Augusten Burroughsis theNew York Timesbestselling author ofPossible Side Effects, MagicalThinking,Dry,Running with Scissors, andSellevision. His work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He lives in New York City and Amherst, Massachusetts.
Patti Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 30, 1946. She is a singer-songwriter, writer and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary mergence of poetry and rock. Her album Horses has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time. She has recorded twelve albums. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has written several books including Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, Auguries of Innocence, and Just Kids. Her drawings, photographs, and installations have been shown at numerous venues including the Andy Warhol Museum and the Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain in Paris. In 2005, she was awarded the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, which is the highest honor awarded to an artist by the French Republic.