Patrick McGrath was born in London in 1950 and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital where his father was the medical superintendent for many years. He attended Stonyhurst College and received his BA in English from the University of London. Among other jobs, he worked as an orderly in a mental hospital and as a teacher before becoming a writer. He is seen as a leader of the neo-Gothic writers; his books include Spider, The Grotesque, Port Mungo, Trauma and Asylum. His novel Martha Peake won the Premio Flaiano Prize in Italy. McGrath resides in New York City and London.
Daphne Du Maurier was born in London on May 13, 1907 and educated in Paris. In 1932, she married Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Browning. She began writing short stories of mystery and suspense for magazines in 1928, a collection of which appeared as The Apple Tree in 1952. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. Her tightly woven, highly suspenseful plots and her strong characters make her stories perfect for adaptation to film or television. Among her many novels that were made into successful films are Jamaica Inn (1936), Rebecca (1938), Frenchman's Creek (1941), Hungry Hill (1943), My Cousin Rachel (1952), and The Scapegoat (1957). Her short story, The Birds (1953), was brought to the screen by director Alfred Hitchcock in a treatment that has become a classic horror-suspense film. She died on April 19, 1989 at the age of 81.