Lynne Truss was born in 1955 in Kingston upon Thames, England. She received a first-class honors degree in English Language and Literature from University College London in 1977. After graduation, she worked for the Radio Times as a sub-editor before moving to the Times Higher Education Supplement as the deputy literary editor in 1978. From 1986 to 1990, she was the literary editor of The Listener and was an arts and books reviewer for The Independent on Sunday before joining The Times in 1991. She currently reviews books for The Sunday Times. She has also written numerous books including Tennyson's Gift; Going Loco; Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation; and Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door.
Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 13, 1930 to Irish immigrant parents. When he was four, his family moved back to Ireland. His father abandoned the family to a life of poverty. He attended school until the age of 14, at which point he was forced to drop out to help support the family. In 1949, he returned to the United States, where he worked odd jobs until being drafted into the U. S. Army during the Korean War. Using the GI Bill, he received a degree in English and education from New York University. He worked at several high schools throughout New York City including McKee Vocational and Technical High School, Seward Park High School, and Stuyvesant High School. During this time, he would occasionally write articles for newspapers and magazines. He retired from teaching in 1994. His first memoir, Angela's Ashes, was published in 1996. It won the National Book Critics Circle award in 1996 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1997. His other memoirs included 'Tis and Teacherman. He died on July 19, 2009 at the age of 78.