Danilo Kis was born on February 22, 1935 in Subotica, a small town north of Serb.He moved to Hungary during World War 2. He attended the University of Belgrade where he studied General and Comparative Literature and graduated in 1958. He wrote for the Vidici Magazine. He wrote novels, essays and poetry. His works include: Attic, Psalm 44, Garden, Ashes, a Tomb for Boris Davidovich and Encyclopedia of the Dead. In 1986, he was named knight of Arts and Letters. He spent most of his life in Belgrade - until his last decade which he spent between France and Belgrade. He spent a number of years as a lecturer in France. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was expected to win however he died in Paris on October 15, 1989 before it was announced.
Journalist and novelist William T. Vollmann was born in 1959 and educated at Cornell University. He worked as a comptuer programmer before becoming a journalist and covering Bosnia, Sarajevo and Afghanistan. He has written extensively since 1987, when his first book, You Bright and Risen Angels, was published. The Atlas (1996) won the PEN Center USA West Award for the best novel by a writer living west of the Mississippi. His newest work of Non-Fiction is entitled, Imperial.
Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad on May 24, 1940. He left school at the age of fifteen, taking jobs in a morgue, a mill, a ship's boiler room, and a geological expedition. During this time he taught himself English and Polish and began writing poetry. His first poems appeared mainly in Syntax, a Leningrad underground literary magazine. In 1964, he was tried and sentenced to five years of administrative exile for the charge of parasitism. As a result of intervention by prominent Soviet cultural figures, he was freed in 1965. In 1972, under tremendous pressure from the authorities, he emigrated to the United States. He wrote nine volumes of poetry and several collections of essays. His works include A Part of Speech, To Urania, Watermark, On Grief and Reason, So Forth, and Collected Poems in English. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and was named poet laureate of the United States, the first poet whose native language was not English to achieve this honor. He died of a heart attack on January 28, 1996.