Joyce Johnson became a part of the circle known as the Beat writers: Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac, when she broke away from her middle class Jewish family life and joined the bohemian Greenwich Village crowd. Johnson met Kerouac in 1957 and was in a romantic relationship with him for two years. Her new memoir, "Minor Characters," discusses not only her experiences but also the role of women in the Beat generation. Johnson is also an editor and novelist.
Writer and Marine veteran William Broyles visited Vietnam years after the war to help come to terms with his experiences there. He made a point of being honest about his combat role when meeting with different Vietnamese people who survived the war.
Bill Buford, editor of Granta Magazine, a literary publication that offers journalism, criticism and fiction. Authors whose work the magazine has published include American short-story writer Raymond Carver, Czech novelist Milan Kundera, and Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Czech-born novelist JOSEF SKVORECKY. His parents fled the Nazis, and he fled the Soviets when they invaded Czechoslovkia. His first novel, The Cowards was banned in Czechoslovkia and since then he and his wife have run a publishing firm that brings out the works of other Czech writers who have also been banned. His best known books are Dvorak in Love, The Engineer of Human Souls and The Bass Saxophone. He's also written mysteries, the latest is Sins For Father Knox. His stories blend elements of memoir, politics and his love of music. Since 1969 he has lived in Toronto.
Jose is one of the most celebrated writers in the Philippines. His new book is a novella, "Three Filipino Women." Since 1965, Jose has presided over a bookstore in Manila, a gathering place for intellectuals. He publishes "Solidarity," a forum for authors worldwide. He's also founder and secretary-general for the Philippines PEN Center. He talks about the need for a stronger national identity in Filipino writing.
The Russian literary critic and dissident writer has written his first novel, "Russian Beauty." The book, about a young bisexual beauty who leaves the provinces for Moscow, has been a best-seller in Russia. Erofeev is also the son of a Soviet diplomat.