Jonathan Miles left home at seventeen, intent on a life in music, but when he landed in Oxford, Mississippi, he traded in the blues for writing. Having learned the art of fiction and of living from Barry Hannah and the late Larry Brown, he has worked as a blues researcher, bartender, gardener, and journalist, covering everything from the death of Faulkner’s bootlegger to the theory and practice of bar fights to the Dakar Rally in Africa. Jonathan’s debut novel, Dear American Airlines, involves Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, who is traveling to his estranged daughter's wedding when his flight is canceled. Stuck with thousands of fuming passengers in the purgatory of O'Hare Airport, he watches the clock tick and realizes that he will miss the ceremony. Frustrated, irate, and helpless, Bennie does the only thing he can: he starts to write a letter. But what begins as a hilariously excoriating demand for a refund soon becomes a tale of a life misspent, talent wasted, opportunities botched, and happiness lost. A man both sinned against and sinning, Bennie pens his letter in a voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit directed at himself and at others, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and wide-ranging erudition, underlined by a consistent ground note of regret for the actions of a lifetime—and all of it is propelled by the fading hope that if he could just make it to the wedding, he might have a chance to do something right. Now the cocktails columnist for the New York Times and books columnist for Men’s Journal, Jonathan’s work has appeared, among other places, in GQ, the Oxford American, the New York Observer, and the New York Times Book Review.
Gretchen Morgenson is assistant business and financial editor and a columnist at the New York Times. She has covered the world financial markets for the Times since May 1998 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her "trenchant and incisive" coverage of Wall Street. Gretchen joined The Times as assistant business and financial editor in May 1998. Previously, she was assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine since rejoining the magazine in March 1996. Before that, she was the press secretary for the Forbes for President campaign from September 1995 to March 1996. From August 1993 to August 1995, Gretchen was the executive editor at Worth magazine. As the number two editor, she oversaw all financial coverage. She also wrote an investigative "Full Disclosure" column monthly. From November 1986 to August 1993, she was an investigative business writer and editor at Forbes magazine. She broke the story of anti-investor practices on the Nasdaq stock market that was followed by Justice Department and SEC investigations. Earlier, Gretchen oversaw several Forbes investing sections and their Washington bureau. From January 1984 to November 1986, she was a staff writer at Money magazine. Ms. Morgenson was a stockbroker for Dean Witter Reynolds in New York from September 1981 to January 1984. She began her career at Vogue magazine as an editorial assistant in August 1976. By the time she left the magazine in July 1981, she was a writer and financial columnist. Born in State College, Penn., on January 2, 1956, Gretchen received a B.A. degree in English and history from Saint Olaf College, Northfield Minn., in 1976. She is the author of "Forbes Great Minds Of Business," published by John Wiley & Co., in 1997 and co-author of "The Woman's Guide to the Stock Market," published by Harmony Books in 1981.
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