Ward Just was born in 1935 in Waukegan, Illinois. He began his career as a newspaperman, serving as a correspondent for the Washington Post at the height of the Vietnam War. In 1969 he gave up reporting to write fiction. The author of fifteen novels, three collections of short stories, and a play, he has twice won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Award for fiction. His novel An Unfinished Season (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Sarah Catchpole. “Florette” is an excerpt from Forgetfulness (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).