I grew up on a farm in a small town in Western Massachusetts, the middle of three daughters of a school teacher mother and an electrician father. I was the family "story-teller," not always meant in the good way. In fact, I love that while I was once punished for making up stories, I now get paid for it.
Okay, so I was a small town girl. But my ambitions were as fanciful as they were impractical. My early career choices were fueled by dreams nurtured in our town library where books fired my imagination. At various times I dreamt of being an FBI agent, a girl detective, a pilot, a spy and a cow girl.
I'm a graduate of the MacDuffie School in Springfield, Massachusetts and an alumna of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, Massachusetts and Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
I met my future husband, Hillary, while on summer break from college. It's a classic summer story. Co-ed goes to Cape Cod for a summer job, meets and falls in love with a native and ends up living on the Cape. We now live in the seaside village of South Chatham and have two children, Hope D’Avril and Christopher, and sixteen chickens.
While raising a family, I was no closer to being the F.B.I. agent or cowgirl but did work as a radio broadcaster, an actress, a journalist and a correspondent for The Boston Globe. My work appeared in The New York Times, Redbook, and Yankee magazine, among others.
It wasn't until 1983 that, pursuing a long-held dream and encouraged by the fiction editor of Yankee, I quit my journalism jobs and began a novel, Land’s End, which was published by Bantam Books in 1985. I have since written eight other novels, including the critically acclaimed Entering Normal, The Lavender Hour, and Leaving Eden. My work has been published in many countries including Great Britain, Italy, Greece, France, Japan, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Netherlands, Brazil and Israel.
My first book-length non-fiction, Listening Below the Noise, is a meditation on the practice of silence. In addition to novels and the memoir, I write short stories and essays. I also teach and lecture here and abroad on the creative process, as well as on the practice of silence. I have taught creative writing on Cape Cod, in France, Ireland and Jamaica, at the Maui Writers Conference, and to women in prison.
My essays have been included in a number of anthologies, among them I’ve Always Meant to Tell You, Letters to Our Mothers: An Anthology of Contemporary Women Writers; From Daughters and Sons to Fathers: What I’ve Never Said; and A Sense of Place: An Anthology of Cape Women Writers.
My interests are gardening, yoga, theater, travel and aviation (I am a private pilot). I'm also interested in genealogy and am a cousin of the poet Emily Dickinson.