Sandra Newman was born in America but also lived in England for 20 years. Her professions have ranged from academia to professional gambling. Her first novel, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Her second novel, Cake, was published in 2007, and her memoir, Changeling, in 2010. She co-wrote How NOT to Write a Novel, an irreverent how-to guide. In 2012 she wrote The Western Lit Survival Kit: How to Read the Classics Without Fear. She lives in New York.