James Salter (1925–2015) was a master of the short story; an exquisite novelist and memoirist; an accomplished screenwriter, essayist, and journalist; the recipient of numerous awards, including a Donald Windham–Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize; and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a fighter pilot in the Korean War, and his first novel, The Hunters, is based on this experience. His six other novels include A Sport and a Pastime, Light Years, and All That Is (Knopf, 2013). The author of the memoir Burning the Days, Salter received the PEN/Faulkner Award for his collection Dusk and Other Stories.
Robert Phelps (1922–1989) was born in Elyria, Ohio, and studied at Oberlin College and the University of Chicago. He is best known for having introduced the work of Colette to Americans as the editor of Earthly Paradise: An Autobiography, Drawn from Her Lifetime Writings (1966). He also edited the works of Cocteau, and in 1970 he published Professional Secrets: An Autobiography of Jean Cocteau. Phelps’s novel, Heroes and Orators, was praised by Donald Barr for its “meticulous observation and fine literary craftsmanship.”