Laura Furman was born in New York and educated at Hunter College High School and Bennington College. After college, she lived in New York City, in Stockholm, and in Washington County, New York. In 1978, she moved to Texas, where she’s lived ever since, in Houston, Galveston, Dallas, Lockhart, and Austin.
Her first story appeared in The New Yorker in 1976, and since then work has appeared in Yale Review, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, American Scholar, Mademoiselle, and many other magazines. Her books include three collections of short stories: The Glass House (1981), Watch Time Fly (1983), and Drinking with the Cook (2001); two novels: Tuxedo Park (1986) and The Shadow Line (1982); and a memoir: Ordinary Paradise (1998).
She is the recipient of fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Dobie Paisano Project, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2002 Ms. Furman became the ninth series editor of The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, published annually. Each year, she picks the 20 winning stories and writes an introduction for the volume.