William H. Gass is David May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities, emeritus, and the director of the International Writers Center at Washington University. Gass is the author of Omensetter’s Luck; In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and Other Stories; Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife; Fiction and the Figures of Life; On Being Blue; The World Within the Word; Habitations of the Word, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism; The Tunnel; and Finding a Form, a book of essays that also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Cartesian Sonata, a book of four novellas, was published in 1998; Reading Rilke, in 1999. Gass received a Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
Lorin Cuoco is the associate director of the International Writers Center at Washington University. With William Gass, she edited The Writer in Politics, the first volume in this series. She is also the editor of The Dual Muse: The Writer as Artist, the Artist as Writer and Literary St. Louis: A Guide.