She was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and educated at the University of Pittsburgh: B.A. (summa cum laude), 1964, M.A. (theatre), 1966, Ph.D. (theatre), 1975, M.F.A. (creative writing), 1988. She teaches theatre arts at the University of Pittsburgh and fiction writing at the Chatham University Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.
She was married to the writer Hilary Masters, a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University and son of Edgar Lee Masters, until his death on June 14, 2015. They resided in Pittsburgh's Mexican War Streets.
- Rhythm in Drama, (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980)
- Playwriting: The First Workshop, (Boston: Focal Press, 1994)
- The Man in the Buick and Other Stories, (Kansas City: BkMk Press, University of Missouri, 1999)
- Taken, novel (New York: Delacorte, 2001)
- Fallen, novel (New York: Bantam, 2004)
- Winter's Tales: Reflections on the Novelistic Stage, (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2005)
- Afterimage, novel (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)
- The Odds, novel (New York: Minotaur Books, 2009)
- Hideout, Minotaur, 2011
- Simple, Minotaur, 2012
Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2006. PEN (Permanent Entry Number): 0000142340.
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