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Susan Jane Gilman, whose reviews and commentaries can be heard regularly on All Things Considered, is a journalist, fiction writer and bestselling author of three nonfiction books: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a SmartMouth Goddess and, most recently, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, a memoir about a naive and disastrous trek Gilman made through Communist China in 1986.
Gilman has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Ms., Us, The Village Voice, The New York Observer and Real Simple, among others.
Her short fiction has appeared in Story, Ploughshares, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Virginia Quarterly Review and The Greensboro Review, which awarded her its 1997 Literary Award. Gilman has received other awards as well, including a New York Press Association Award for articles she wrote on assignment in Poland as a cub reporter in 1990. She earned a BA in Literature from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.
Gilman currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where she co-hosts Bookmark, a monthly book review show on World Radio Switzerland, the national English-language station. The rest of her time is spent writing, or as she puts it, staring catatonically at a blinking cursor. She also writes a humorous travel blog A View from A Broad.
Composer and author Tom Manoff has been the classical music critic for NPR's All Things Considered since 1985.
In addition to his work at NPR, Manoff has written for the New York Times and other newspapers. Manoff's compositions include music for the Oscar-winning documentary Down and Out in the USA and Honor is so Sublime Perfection, performed at Tanglewood.
Currently, Manoff is working on an opera "The Trials of Katherina Kepler" and Chase the White Horse, a political memoir about his family.
His first book The Music Kit (WW Norton and Company, 1976-2001) has long been among the top-selling college textbooks for fundamentals of music. His second text, Music: A Living Language (Norton, 1982), was praised for its groundbreaking approach placing standard music history in a broader historical, cultural and musical context. The publication was the first college text from a major publisher to explore all musical styles as equal art forms.
At age five, Manoff started playing the piano. By the time he reached 10, Manoff began studying piano, theory and analysis with pianist and conductor David Labovitz.
Manoff studied at the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers included Ludmila Ulehla for theory and composition, Bronson Ragan in keyboard improvisation and figured bass, Hugh Ross in choral conducting, Anton Coppola in orchestral conducting, and Nicholas Flagello for orchestration.
In 1967, while still a student, Manoff joined the faculty of the Manhattan School's Preparatory Division. He taught theory, ear training, and composition for 11 years. A year after his faculty appointment, Manoff was appointed head of theory, composition, and teacher training at the Third Street Music School Settlement. In this role he developed intensive programs for young minority students with professional musical potential.
Manoff was a Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) worker during the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in 1964 and 1965.