Tom Drury was born in Iowa in 1956. He attended the University of Iowa, worked for five years as a journalist in New England, and then went on to attend Brown University’s MFA programme. His first novel, The End of Vandalism, was published in 1994. His stories have appeared in several publications including Harper’s and The New Yorker. In 1996 he was named as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. ‘Burning Mary’, his story from that issue, is taken from his second novel, The Black Brook, published by Houghton Mifflin (1997).