D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885. His father was a coal miner and Lawrence grew up in a mining town in England. He always hated the mines, however, and frequently used them in his writing to represent both darkness and industrialism, which he despised because he felt it was scarring the English countryside. Lawrence attended high school and college in Nottingham and, after graduation, became a school teacher in Croyden in 1908. Although his first two novels had been unsuccessful, he turned to writing full time when a serious illness forced him to stop teaching. Lawrence spent much of his adult life abroad in Europe, particularly Italy, where he wrote some of his most significant and most controversial novels, including Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterly's Lover. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, who had left her first husband and her children to live with him, spent several years touring Europe and also lived in New Mexico for a time. Lawrence had been a frail child, and he suffered much of his life from tuberculosis. Eventually, he retired to a sanitorium in Nice, France. He died in France in 1930, at age 44. In his relatively short life, he produced more than 50 volumes of short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel journals, and letters, in addition to the novels for which he is best known.Kathryn Harrison lives in New York with her husband and their children.
Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California on September 26, 1949. She received a B. A. at Vassar College in 1971 and an M. F. A. and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa. From 1981 to 1996, she taught undergrad and graduate creative writing workshops at Iowa State University. Her first critically acclaimed novel, The Greenlanders (1988), was preceded by three other novels and a highly regarded short story collection, The Age of Grief (1987). In 1985, she won an O. Henry Award for her short story Lily, which was published in The Atlantic Monthly. Her novel A Thousand Acres (1991) received both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her other works include Moo; Horse Heaven; and Ordinary Love and Good Will. In 2014 her title, Some Luck, made The New York Times Best Seller List.