An American writer, she is most remembered for her popular 1944 novel, Anna and the King of Siam, which provides a fictionalized account of the life of real-life governess Anna Leonowens. The book sold a million copies and inspired The King and I, a Broadway musical with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
After graduating from Wheaton College in Illinois, she worked briefly as a schoolteacher.
She and her husband established a mission school in Trang, Thailand.
She married Kenneth Landon in 1926; they had four children.
The King and I was made into a CBS film starring Samantha Eggar.