American novelist and screenwriter Jim Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma on September 27, 1906. In Fort Worth, Texas during prohibition, he worked as a bellboy at the Hotel Texas for two years where he earned up to $300 a week by supplying hotel patrons with bootleg liquor, heroin, and marijuana. During the Depression, he worked with the Oklahoma Federal Writers Project and was a member of the Communist Party from 1935 to 1938. During World War II, he worked at an aircraft factory where he was investigated by the FBI for his Communist Party affiliation. His first novel, Now and on Earth, was published in 1942. He wrote more than thirty novels during his lifetime and most of them were paperback pulp crime novels. His best known works are The Killer Inside Me, Savage Night, A Hell of a Woman, and Pop. 1280. In 1955, he moved to Hollywood, California to write screenplays with Stanley Kubrick. Thompson helped write The Killing and Paths of Glory. He died after a series of strokes in Los Angeles, California on April 7, 1977. His long-time alcoholism and recent self-inflicted starvation contributed to his death. His death attracted little attention because none of his novels were in print in the U.S. at that time.
Andre Dubus III was born on September 11, 1959 in Oceanside, California. He is the son of the acclaimed writer Andre Dubus, and mystery writer James Lee Burke is his cousin. Dubus attended Bradford College, where his father taught, and then switched to the University of Texas at Austin where he studied sociology, political science and economics. He dropped out of a Ph.D. program, signed on at a construction site, and began boxing. A friend convinced Dubus to start writing, and he wrote in his spare time till getting a job teaching writing at Emerson. He has also worked as a private investigator, corrections counselor, and bounty hunter, as well as various other jobs. As an actor he has appeared in numerous stage plays and three independent films. He is also a general contractor and carpenter. Dubus is the author of the story collection The Cage Keeper and other Stories and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog (which was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award and was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film), and The Garden of Last Days. Dubus has garnered other distinctions, including a Pushcart Prize and a 1985 National Magazine Award for Fiction. He has also been published in short story anthologies, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and numerous literary reviews. Dubus teaches creative writing courses at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and has also taught writing at Harvard University and Tufts University.