An American writer, he is known for his novel-turned-screenplay, Fearless, and for his 2005 screenplay, Dark Water. His 2009 memoir, A Happy Marriage, received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
He grew up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. He later settled in Greenwich Village.
He dropped out of the tenth grade to finish Hide Fox, and All After (1972), his first novel.
He was the son of novelists Jose Yglesias and Helen Yglesias. Following the death of his first wife, artist Margaret Joskow, he wed businesswoman Donna Redel.
His novel, Fearless, was made into a feature film starring Jeff Bridges.