She was born Lillian Rosovsky in Syracuse, New York around 1918 or 1919, according to census records, and raised in Brooklyn, the youngest of three children of Louis and Edna (née Rosenson) Rosovsky. Her elder siblings were Helen and Simon. With the exception of her memoirHere but Not Here, she has always been reluctant to discuss her private or personal life, much of which was spent with New York journalist/editor William Shawn.
She did, however, discuss some aspects of her private life in personal comments to The Talk of the Town, following the death of J. D. Salinger, making her position as narrator clear and including information about her long friendship with Salinger and photographs of Salinger and his family with her family, including her adopted son, Erik (born 1965).
(With sister, Helen Ross) The Player: A Profile of an Art (interviews), Simon & Schuster, 1962, Limelight Editions, 1984.
Vertical and Horizontal (short stories), Simon & Schuster, 1963.
Reporting (articles originally published in the New Yorker, including "The Yellow Bus," "Symbol of All We Possess," "The Big Stone," "Terrific," "El Unico Matador," "Portrait of Hemingway," and "Picture"), Simon & Schuster, 1964, with new introduction by the author, Dodd (New York City), 1981.