Michael Cunningham was born November 6, 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Pasadena, California. He received a B.A. in English literature from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa. Cunningham is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993 and a Whiting Writers' Award in 1995. In 1999, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, The Hours, which was later made into an Oscar-winning 2002 movie of the same name starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. Cunningham taught at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and in the creative writing M.F.A. program at Brooklyn College. He is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.
Mona Simpson lives in Santa Monica and New York City.