Rachel Pastan grew up in suburban Maryland, the daughter of a molecular biologist and a poet, and attended Harvard College and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her two previous novels are Lady of the Snakes and This Side of Married, and she has published short stories in numerous magazines and won various prizes for her short fiction. She is a member of the core faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program.
Pastan is also Editor-at-Large for the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where she writes the behind-the-scenes blog Miranda. She lives near Philadelphia.