An American author of short fiction, she is best known for her 1997 short story collection, Loving Wanda Beaver. She received the prestigious O. Henry Award in 1994.
She graduated from Reed College and subsequently received a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University.
She received the George Garrett Fiction Award for her 1992 work, Field Notes.
She was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She later lived and worked at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
She and author David Eddings both attended Reed College.