Germaine Bree and M. Guiton have written, "When Giono's first novel, Colline (Hill of Destiny) appeared in 1929, it struck a fresh, new note. . . . After Proust and Gide, Duhamel and Romains, Cocteau and Giraudoux, what could be more restful than a world of wind and sun and simple men who apparently had never heard of psychological analysis, never confronted any social problems, never read any books. . ." (An Age of Fiction). Raised by his shoemaker father in a small town in the south of France, Giono's fiction has its roots in the peasant life of Provence. Horrified by his experiences in World War I, Giono returned to the world of his youth, which became the world of his imagination. After the shock of World War II, his novels seemed to gain in stature. One of his best is Horseman on the Roof (1951), his chronicle of the great cholera epidemic of 1838.
Michael McCurdy, the celebrated American artist, has illustrated books by David Mamet and Edward Abbey. He lives in Massachusetts.
Wangari Maathaiwas elected to Kenya’s parliament in 2002 and in 2003 was appointed Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife. She is also the author of a memoir,Unbowed, and speaks to organizations around the world. She lives in Nairobi. From the Hardcover edition.
Norma L. Goodrich is Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at the Claremont Colleges and author ofGiono: Master of Fictional Modes.
Andy Lipkis is the founder and president of TreePeople.