Just like Gertrude Stein, H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) was born in Pennsylvania (Bethlehem to be specific), and she attended Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania. There, she befriended Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams (poetry.org). She ended up living in Europe and traveling abroad for most of her life. She also became heavily involved in the Imagist movement (poets.org).

At the time Jaws was published, Benchley was an accomplished writer but wasn’t making enough money even though he had been a junior speechwriter for Lyndon B. Johnson and had written as both a staff writer and freelancer for large publications. His last ditch effort involved getting together with a few publishers and pitching some ideas including a nonfiction book about pirates and one about a man-eating shark.