Carol Ascher was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1941. Her parents fled Europe during the Holocaust; her father later worked as a psychoanalyst at the Menninger Sanitarium. She is the author of seven books, including Simone de Beauvoir: A Life of Freedom and The Flood. Her stories and essays often examine themes of intolerance and inequality, and have appeared in The New York Times, Ms., The San Francisco Chronicle, Utne Reader, Phi Delta Kappan, and numerous literary journals. She has been published widely to critical acclaim, winning four PEN/National Endowment for the Arts Syndicated Short Fiction Awards, two awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Thomas Cater award for literary nonfiction, and a fellowship from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. She lives in Connecticut.