Kathy Acker was a novelist, essayist and performance artist whose books include Blood and Guts in High School, The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula, Empire of the Senseless, In Memoriam to Identity, Don Quixote, My Mother: Demonology, and her last novel, Pussy King of the Pirates. Born and raised on New York's Upper East Side, she died of breast cancer in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1997.
Zadie Smith is a novelist, essayist and short story writer. As of 2012, she has published four novels, White Teeth (2000), The Autograph Man (2002), On Beauty (2005), and NW (2012), all of which have received critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors and Smith won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006. Her novel White Teeth was included in Time magazines TIME 100 Best English-language. Smith joined NYU's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor in 2010. Smith attended Hampstead Comprehensive School, and King's College, Cambridge University where she studied English literature.Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959 and graduated from St. Catherine's College, Oxford. Her book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, is a semi-autobiographical account of her life as a child preacher (she wrote and gave sermons by the time she was eight years old). The book was the winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction and was made into an award-winning TV movie. The Passion won the John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize for best writer under thirty-five, and Sexing the Cherry won the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award.