The scion of a wealthy Germantown family, Owen Wister (1860-1938) showed promise as a musician early in his life, but his father directed him into a career in banking and then the law. Plagued with neurasthenia, Wister took a variant of the "rest cure" of Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, traveling to Wyoming on Mitchell's advice. From these experiences, Wister began to write short stories about the West. His Western writing culminated in the 1902 publication of The Virginian, the most popular Western ever. In addition to novels, Wister wrote short stories, operas, plays, poetry, and nonfiction, including biographies of Ulysses S. Grant and George Washington. John Pruden is a professional voice actor who records audiobooks, corporate and online training narrations, animation and video game characters, and radio and TV commercials. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life-from his wide array of jobs early in life; to his Army service as a UH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopter pilot; to his travels through forty-four U.S. states, South America, Europe, and Asia; to his experience in professional improv and competitive singing-provides a solid creative foundation from which to draw for his intelligent audiobook narrations and gritty but sensitive vocal characterizations. His audiobooks include The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, which was chosen by the Washington Post as the best audiobook of 2011.