One of Granta magazine's 50 Best Young American Novelists of 1996, she is best known for works such as Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, True Confections, and The Music Lesson. She also wrote for The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune and edited The Kenyon Review.
She studied at both The New School for Social Research and at Yale University. She later taught creative writing at Kenyon College in Ohio.
She was chosen as a National Book Critics Circle board member.
She grew up in New York City. She married Nicholas Fox Weber in 1976; they subsequently became parents to two daughters.
She and Louise Bogan have both published work in The New Yorker.