Born July 3, 1908, in Albion, Michigan, M.F.K Fisher was raised primarily in Whittier, California, where she enjoyed cooking meals for her family. Encouraged in literary pursuits by her parents, she combined her favorite pastimes-cooking and writing-and began writing about cooking as early as 1929 when she moved to Dijon, France, with her first husband, Alfred Fisher. Fisher was educated at Illinois College, Occidental College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Dijon. She has written under the names Mary Frances Parrish, Victoria Bern, and Victoria Berne. A prolific author, her work is primarily autobiography and memoir. Her long list of publications includes Dubious Honors (1988) and Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me: Journals and Stories, 1933-1945, (1993). She also contributed articles to widely known magazines, including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Gourmet. Fisher died of Parkinson's disease on June 22, 1992, in Glen Ellen, California.
Jan Morris was born in 1926 of a Welsh father and an English mother, and when she is not travelling she lives with her partner Elizabeth Morris in the top left-hand corner of Wales, between the mountains and the sea. Her books include Coronation Everest, Venice, The Pax Britannica Trilogy (Heaven's Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell the Trumpets), and Conundrum. She is also the author of six books about cities and countries, two autobiographical books, several volumes of collected travel essays and the unclassifiable Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. A Writer's World, a collection of her travel writing and reportage from over five decades, was published in 2003. Hav, her novel, was published in a new and expanded form in 2006.