Older sister of the acclaimed children's author Sterling North and a noted writer and poet in her own right. Her best known works include Arden Acres, The Prayer Rug, The Giant's Shoe, and a poetry collection called The Long Leash.
She received degrees from both Lawrence College (Wisconsin) and the University of Chicago. She later joined the editorial staff of the Chicago literary publication, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.
Her historical novel, Arden Acres, about a man who turns to crime to survive the Great Depression, won the Friends of American Writers First Novel Award.
She grew up in Wisconsin as the daughter of David Willard North and Sarah Elizabeth Nelson North. In 1921, she married Reed Inness MacDonald; the couple went on to have two children.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of Little House on the Prairie, was also a Wisconsin native.