An American fiction writer who wrote under the male pen name of Jack Fenno, she is most famous for her O. Henry award-winning short story, The Night Club in the Woods. Her novels include Journal from Ellipsia and Standard Dreaming.
She grew up in New York City. She published her first short story collection, In the Absence of Angels, in 1951.
She was a three-time National Book Award finalist.
She was married twice and had two children. When she died at the age of ninety-seven, she was survived by her second husband, Curtis Harnack, and by her son, Peter Heffelfinger.
Her writing is sometimes compared to that of Jane Austen.