Dorothy Allison, 1949 - Writer Dorothy Allison was born in 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina to a fourteen-year-old unwed mother. She grew up with an abusive and violent father figure. Allison was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She received a National Merit Scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree from Florida Presbyterian College and a master's from New York's School of Social Research. In 1988, "Trash," a book of short stories was published. Allison followed with "The Women Who Hate Me: Poetry, 1980-1990," which gained her respect in the gay and lesbian community. "Trash" was awarded two Lambda Literary awards: Best Small Press and Best Lesbian Book. "Bastard Out of Carolina" gave her mainstream success and was a National Book Award finalist. The novel tells a tale of poverty, incest, abuse and survival and is centered around the Boatwright family of Greenville County, South Carolina. Allison has also published a collection of essays titled "Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature," which won critical acclaim. "Two or Three Things I Know For Sure" (1995) is a short memoir in which she used text and family photographs. "Cavedweller" is an epic novel that chronicles the lives of four strong women in the difficult terrain of small town Georgia. In addition to writing her books, Allison is a contributor to publications such as The New York Times, Harpers and Allure.
Richard Bausch is an American novelist who believes that the only criterion for fiction is to determine whether a work of fiction creates and deepens feeling. Among his themes are family, fear, and love. Bausch believes in the power of language to transform the heart. Bausch was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a survival instructor, he entered George Mason University, from which he received a B.A. in 1974. He then earned an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa and worked as a singer and comedian while writing fiction. He became a professor of English at George Mason University in 1980. Bausch's work includes the novels Real Presence (1980), I Don't Care If I Never Get Back (1981), The Last Good Time (1984), Mr. Field's Daughter (1989), and Violence (1992). He has also published two collections of short stories, Spirits and Other Stories (1987) and The Fireman's Wife and Other Stories (1990). Bausch lives in Virginia.
Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most eminent and prolific literary figures and social critics of our times. She has won the National Book Award and several O. Henry and Pushcart prizes. Among her other awards are an NEA grant, a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Lifetime Achievement Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature.