Professor E Robert Pendleton's final novel, The Scream, was published in 1982. It sold a grand total of 32 copies. Early in 1987, a graduate student researching a thesis, discovered an extraordinary and hitherto unspotted similarity between events in the book and the real life details of a murder victim gone missing the year before Pendleton's novel was written. The novel also appeared to describe in detail the location where the actual body was found three years after publication. Later in 1987, E Robert Pendleton hit the bestseller list, selling the rights in a million dollar deal, in a year that ran the gambit from accusation of murder to charges of plagiarism culminating in a literary rebirth and the award of the National Book Award for The Scream. At the end of the year, Pendleton, who had been diagnosed with cancer, put a gun in is mouth and took his own life. This book is an account of that year, gathered not only from interviews of and statements by Pendleton but from those around him, including the graduate student who was left over 600,000 dollars in Pendleton's will. He also left 1.2 million to the family of Misty Baker, the victim at the heart of the mystery.
Michael Collins was born in 1964 in Limerick, Ireland. He is the author of six novels, and two collections of short stories. His work has garnered numerous awards, including a Pushcart Award for Best American Short Stories, The Kerry Ingredients Irish Novel of the Year, and he has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and IMPAC Award. Collins is also an extreme athlete and is currently training for The North Pole Marathon in 2006.