I bet it’s hard for some people not to be jealous of Madison Smartt Bell. He published his first novel, The Washington Square Ensemble, in 1983 when he was only 25. Since then he has published 20 more books and has been named a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for All Souls Rising. Additionally, in 2008, Madison was awarded the Strauss Living Writer Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Aside from all the awards, Madison has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he plays guitar, and he sings like a cross between John Lee Hooker and Johnny Cash. And let us not forget that Richard Avedon took a very cool photo of him once for The New Yorker!