The daughter of David Leonard Fey and Dora Smith, both natives of Arkansas, she was born Beverly Fey in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi. She was educated at the University of Mississippi and Memphis State University, receiving a BA from the latter institution in 1960. In 1960, she married Glenn Lowry and moved to Manhattan. In 1965, the family moved to Houston and she began writing. In 1976, Lowry began teaching fiction writing at the University of Houston.
In 1977, she published her first novel Come Back, Lolly Ray. This was followed by Emma Blue in 1978. In 1981, she published Daddy's Girl, which won the Jesse Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her short story "So far from the Road, So Long until Morning" won the Texas Institute of Letters short story award in that year.
- The Perfect Sonya (1987)
- Breaking Gentle (1988)
- Crossed Over : A Murder, A Memoir (1992), based in part on the story of Karla Faye Tucker
- The Track of Real Desires (1992)
- Her Dream of Dreams: The Rise and Triumph of Madam CJ Walker (2002)
- Mother of the Disappeared: An Appalachian Birth Mother's Journey (2003), received the AWP award in 2003
- Who Killed These Girls? (2016)
- "A Guide to the Beverly Lowry Papers, 1950-1998". Texas State University.
- "Contemporary Southern Writers". Biography in Context. Gale. 1999. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- "Lowry, Beverly 1938–". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
- Champion, Laurie; Austin, Rhonda (2002). Contemporary American Women Fiction Writers: An A-to-Z Guide. pp. 210–215. ISBN 0313316279.
- Grider, Sylvia Ann; Rodenberger, Lou Halsell (2003). Let's Hear It: Stories by Texas Women Writers. pp. 214–216. ISBN 1585442933.
- "AWP Award Series Winners". Association of Writers & Writing Programs.