J. F. Powers (1917-1999) was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, and studied at Northwestern University while holding a variety of jobs in Chicago and working on his writing. He published his first stories in The Catholic Worker
and, as a pacifist, spent thirteen months in prison during World War II. Powers was the author of three collections of short stories and two novels—Morte D’Urban
, which won the National Book Award, and Wheat That Springeth Green
—all of which have been reissued by New York Review Books. He lived in Ireland and the United States and taught for many years at St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.