A novelist and Virginia Woolf enthusiast, Michael Cunningham is an American writer, best known for his 1998 novel, The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Born in Cincinnati and raised in California, Cunningham attended Stanford followed by grad school at the University of Iowa, where he picked up his MFA. His first two books, A Home At The End of the World and Flesh and Blood, garnered praise within literary circles, but it was 1998's The Hours, and its subsequent Oscar-winning film adaptation (starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore), that propelled him to literary stardom. Following the box office success of The Hours, Cunningham's earlier work was transformed for the screen: A Home at The End of the World was made into a 2004 movies starring Colin Farrell and Sissy Spacek, and Flesh and Blood was transformed into a Showtime mini-series. Cunningham has published two novels since The Hours, 2005's Specimen Days, and 2010's By Nightfall, but neither has achieved the acclaim or awards of The Hours.

Cunningham has been with his partner, psychoanalyst Ken Corbett, since the late 1980s. They split their time between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, where Cunningham is a professor of creative writing at Yale. [Image via Getty]