Originally from Portland, she now lives between Maine and New York. She has taught literature and writing at Manhattan Community College and writing at the New School.
Her stories have appeared in numerous magazines such as The New Yorker. In 2000, she was a finalist for the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Prize for fiction. Her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, acclaimed by critics and the public alike, was a real publishing sensation (in Italy Fazi Editore 2000, new edition 2010 with an introduction by Valeria Parrella).
Also Abide with Me, her second novel, was published in Italy by Fazi in 2010.Olive Ketteridge (Fazi Editore 2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and she is now considered one of the most interesting and sensitive voices in contemporary American fiction.Very recently, Fazi published the Italian version of her new novel The Burgess Boys.