Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop was born and raised in New York City. She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.F.A. in fiction from the UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Schaeffer Writing Fellowship. She is the author of four novels, Fireworks, December, The Why of Things, and The Mercy Seat. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter and is Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing at Endicott College.