Diana Nyad /ˈnaɪˌæd/ is an American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. Nyad gained national attention in 1975 when she swam around Manhattan and in 1979 when she swam from North Bimini, The Bahamas, to Juno Beach, Florida . In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming from Havana to Key West . Nyad was also once ranked thirteenth among US women squash players.
Taraji Penda Henson is an American actress, singer and author. She studied acting at Howard University and began her Hollywood career in guest-roles on several television shows before making her breakthrough in Baby Boy . She received praise for playing a prostitute in Hustle & Flow and a single mother of a disabled child in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ; for the latter, she received Academy Award, SAG Award and Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress; for the former, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination. In 2010, she appeared in the action comedy Date Night and co-starred in the remake of The Karate Kid.
Ally Condie is an author of young adult and middle grade fiction. Her novel Matched was a #1 New York Times and international bestseller, and spent over a year on the New York Times Bestseller List. The sequels are also New York Times bestsellers. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA's 2011 Teens' Top Ten and named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2010. All three books are available in 30+ languages.