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Brenda Bell ("The Liquid Earth") has written for the Los Angeles Times Magazine and Utne Reader. She is at work on a historical novel set in the Southwest.
Susan Donnelly ("Harpo") is a poet whose work has appeared in The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Her book Eve Names the Animals (1985) was awarded the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize by Northeastern University.
Murray Feshbach ("Dead Souls") is a research professor at Georgetown University and the editor in chief of Environmental and Health Atlas of Russia (1995).
Rodney Jones ("Plea for Forgiveness") is the author of six poetry collections. His poem in this issue will appear in his book Elegy for the Southern Drawl, to be published this spring.
Nicholas Lemann ("Lost in Post-Reality") is the national correspondent of The Atlantic.
Toby Lester ("What Is the Koran?") is the executive editor of Atlantic Unbound, the Atlantic Monthly Web site.
Philip Levine ("'He Would Never Use One Word Where None Would Do'") was awarded the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his collection The Simple Truth. His poem in this issue will appear in his book The Mercy, to be published this spring.
Alan Lightman ("A Cataclysm of Thought") is the John E. Burchard Professor of Science and Writing and a senior lecturer in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include the novel Einstein's Dreams (1993) and a collection of short stories, Dance for Two (1996).
Adam Niklewicz (cover art) is a painter whose work has been widely exhibited. It has appeared on the covers of Newsweek, Time, and Business Week, and on more than a hundred book jackets.
Mary Jo Salter ("Video Blues") is the author of three books of poems. Her fourth collection, A Kiss in Space, will be published this spring.
Benjamin Schwarz ("Going All Out for Chinese") is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a book critic for the Los Angeles Times. Christina Schwarz has just completed her first novel.
Roger Shattuck ("When Evil Is 'Cool'") is the author of Marcel Proust (1974), which won the National Book Award. His most recent book is Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography (1996).
Carol Shields ("The Next Best Kiss") is the chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. Her book The Stone Diaries won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1995. Shields's most recent novel is Larry's Party (1997).
Dana Stevens ("Fall") is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley.
Anthony Walton ("Technology Versus African-Americans") is a writer in residence at Bowdoin College and the author of Mississippi: An American Journey (1996). He won a 1998 Whiting Writer's Award.
Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; January 1999; Contributors; Volume 283, No. 1; page 6.