James D. Houston (1933-2009) was the author of several novels and nonfiction works exploring the history and cultures of the western United States and the Asia/Pacific region. His works include Snow Mountain Passage, Continental Drift, In the Ring of Fire: A Pacific Basin Journey, and The Last Paradise, which received a 1999 American Book Award for fiction. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Jim received a National Endowment for the Arts writing grant, a Library of Congress Story Award, and traveled to Asia lecturing for the U.S.I.S. Arts America program.
Maxine Hong Kingston is Senior Lecturer Emerita in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. For her memoirs and fiction, including The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, and Hawaii One Summer, Kingston has earned numerous awards, among them the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Pen West Award for Fiction, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literature Award, and a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the rare title, "Living Treasure of Hawai'i."
Alan Cheuse Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s. Formally trained as a literary scholar, Alan also writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of three novels, two collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall out of Heaven. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. Alan's short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Another Chicago Magazine. His most recent collection of his short fiction was published in September 1998 and his essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001. Alan splits his time between the two coasts, spending nine months of the year in Washington, D.C., where he teaches writing at George Mason University. His summers are spent in Santa Cruz, Calif. teaching writing at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Cheuse earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University in 1974. "The greatest challenge of this work [at NPR]," he says, "is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as you can while trying to focus on the essence of the book itself.