Joan Allen (born August 20, 1956) is an American actress. She began her career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1977, won the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for And a Nightingale Sang, and won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Burn This. She is also a three-time Academy Award nominee, receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and a Best Actress nomination for The Contender (2000).
Allen’s other film roles include Manhunter (1986), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), The Ice Storm (1997), Face/Off (1997), Pleasantville (1998), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Upside of Anger (2005), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Death Race (2008), and The Bourne Legacy (2012). She won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 2015 film Room. She has also starred in the Broadway plays The Heidi Chronicles (1988), Impressionism (2009), and The Waverly Gallery (2018).
Susan Sontag (/ˈsɒntæɡ/; January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay “Notes on ‘Camp'”, in 1964. Her best-known works include the critical works Against Interpretation (1966), Styles of Radical Will (1968), On Photography (1977), and Illness as Metaphor (1978), as well as the fictional works The Way We Live Now (1986), The Volcano Lover (1992), and In America (1999).
Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or travelling to, areas of conflict, including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo. She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and leftist ideology. Her essays and speeches drew controversy, and she has been described as “one of the most influential critics of her generation.”
Paul Benjamin Auster (born February 3, 1947) is an American writer and film director. His notable works include The New York Trilogy (1987), Moon Palace (1989), The Music of Chance (1990), The Book of Illusions (2002), The Brooklyn Follies (2005), Invisible (2009), Sunset Park (2010), Winter Journal (2012), and 4 3 2 1 (2017). His books have been translated into more than forty languages.
Siri Hustvedt (born February 19, 1955) is an American novelist and essayist. Hustvedt is the author of a book of poetry, seven novels, two books of essays, and several works of non-fiction. Her books include: The Blindfold (1992), The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (1996), What I Loved (2003), for which she is best known, A Plea for Eros (2006), The Sorrows of an American (2008), The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves (2010), The Summer Without Men (2011), Living, Thinking, Looking (2012), The Blazing World (2014), and Memories of the Future (2019). What I Loved and The Summer Without Men were international bestsellers. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
Art Spiegelman (/ˈspiːɡəlmən/; born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev Spiegelman on February 15, 1948) is an American cartoonist, editor, and comics advocate best known for his graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on the comics magazines Arcade and Raw has been influential, and from 1992 he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker. He is married to designer and editor Françoise Mouly and is the father of writer Nadja Spiegelman.
Spiegelman began his career with the Topps bubblegum card company in the mid-1960s, which was his main financial support for two decades; there he co-created parodic series such as Wacky Packages in the 1960s and the Garbage Pail Kids in the 1980s. He gained prominence in the underground comix scene in the 1970s with short, experimental, and often autobiographical work. A selection of these strips appeared in the collection Breakdowns in 1977, after which Spiegelman turned focus to the book-length Maus, about his relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor. The postmodern book depicts Germans as cats, Jews as mice, and ethnic Poles as pigs, and took 13 years to create until its completion in 1991. It won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and has gained a reputation as a pivotal work.
Spiegelman and Mouly edited eleven issues of Raw from 1980 to 1991. The oversized comics and graphics magazine helped introduce talents who became prominent in alternative comics, such as Charles Burns, Chris Ware, and Ben Katchor, and introduced several foreign cartoonists to the English-speaking comics world.