Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and screenwriter, was born in New York City in 1952. She earned a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1973 and an M.A. from Stanford in 1975 before publishing her first novel, Property Of, in 1977. Known for blending realism and fantasy in her fiction, Hoffman often creates richly detailed characters who live on society's margins and places them in extraordinary situations as she did with At Risk, her 1988 novel about the AIDS crisis. Other novels include The Drowning Season (named a "notable book of 1979" by Library Journal) and Seventh Heaven, which first gained Hoffman a broad national audience. She has also written many screenplays, including adaptations of her own novels.
Juliet Barker is the author of the highly acclaimed The Brontes: A Life in Letters and Wordsworth: A Life. She trained as an historian at Oxford University and was curator of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth for six years. She lives in the South Pennines.
Emily Bronte, the sister of Charlotte, shared the same isolated childhood on the Yorkshire moors. Emily, however, seems to have been much more affected by the eerie desolation of the moors than was Charlotte. Her one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), draws much of its power from its setting in that desolate landscape. Emily's work is also marked by a passionate intensity that is sometimes overpowering. According to English poet and critic Matthew Arnold, "for passion, vehemence, and grief she had no equal since Byron." This passion is evident in the poetry she contributed to the collection (Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell) published by the Bronte sisters in 1846 under male pseudonyms in response to the prejudices of the time. Her passion reached far force, however, in her novel, Wuthering Heights. Bronte's novel defies easy classification. It is certainly a story of love, but just as certainly it is not a "love story". It is a psychological novel, but is so filled with hints of the supernatural and mystical that the reader is unsure of how much control the characters have over their own actions. It may seem to be a study of right and wrong, but is actually a study of good and evil. Above all, it is a novel of power and fierce intensity that has gripped readers for more than 100 years.