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Saleema Nawaz is the author of two novels, most recently, Songs for the End of the World. Her first novel, Bone and Bread, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the 2016 Canada Reads competition. She is also the author of the short story collection Mother Superior, and a winner of the Writers’ Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Born and raised in Ottawa, she currently lives in Montreal.

Marilynne Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for “her grace and intelligence in writing.” In 2013, she was awarded South Korea’s Park Kyong-ni Prize for her contribution to international literature. She is the author of National Book Critics Circle Award winning book LilaGilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Iowa City, where she taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop for 25 years.