THOMAS J. MOORE (“The Cholesterol Myth”) is a writer who lives in Washington, D.C. He has been an investigative reporter for The Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington bureau of the Knight-Ridder newspapers, and has served in government on the staffs of Senator Gary Hart and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Moore’s reporting has won awards from the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association, and the National Headliners Club.

SEYMOUR CHWAST (cover artist) was born in New York City and attended the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, from which he graduated in 1951. He was among the founders of, and is the director of, the studio now called The Pushpin Group. Chwast’s work, in a variety of styles and media, has been exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Brazil. Examples of his work are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, the Gutenberg Museum, in Mainz, Germany, and other museums.

CAMILO JOSÉ VERGARA (“Hell in a Very Tall Place”) is a writer and photographer who lives in New York City. He holds an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships to further his work in urban architecture and design. His book Silent Cities: The Evolution of the American Cemetery, which he wrote with Kenneth T. Jackson, will be published this fall.

SHANNON BROWNLEE (“Agriculture: The Best Banana Bred”) is an associate editor of U.S. News & World Report, for which she covers medicine.

HARVEY OXENHORN (“Newfoundland: Tuning the Rig”) is the director of the public-policy communications program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of Elemental Things: The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid (1984). A new book, about a tall ship’s Arctic voyage, will be published next May.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS (“The Blues”) is a professor of English at the City University of New York. A new book of his poems, Blues If You Want, will be published next month.

PETER DAVISON (“The Passing of Thistle”) is The Atlantic’s poetry editor. A collection of his poems, The Great Ledge, will be published next month.

WAYNE JOHNSON (“Hippies, Indians, Buffalo”) is a writer who lives in Iowa. His first novel, a collection of eighteen related stories, of which the story in this issue is one, will be published next spring.

WALTER MCDONALD (“Hawks in a Bitter Blizzard”) is the Horn Professor of English at Texas Tech University, in Lubbock. He is the author of nine books of poems, the most recent of which. Night Landings, was published earlier this year.

JAMES FALLOWS (“With the Rebels”), The Atlantic’s Washington editor, has been writing from Asia for the past three years. His latest book, More Like Us, was published in March by Houghton Mifflin.