Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of five books, including her newest, Growing Girls (Bantam Dell, 2006), the award-winning The Exact Same Moon (Bantam Dell, 2003), and Fifty Acres and a Poodle (Bantam Dell, 2000). She has written for GQ, Esquire, and the Washington Post Magazine, among others. A professor in the creative writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, she lives with her husband and two daughters at Sweetwater Farm in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania.

The disaster at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine put the spotlight on a world you only think about when tragedy strikes. Jeanne Marie Laskas on how the men in the pits live with risk.