An American writer, she is best known for her 1938 novel, Young Man with a Horn, which is based on the life of musician Bix Beiderbecke. Her other works include Our Gifted Son (1948) and Cassandra at the Wedding (1962).
She studied at the University of California, Los Angeles.
She received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
She married Howard Baker in 1930.
Her novel, Young Man with a Horn, was made into a film starring Kirk Douglas.