Rona Jaffe was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 12, 1931. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951 and began her writing career as an assistant editor at Fawcett Gold Medal Books in 1952. Her first novel, The Best of Everything, was published in 1958 and was later adapted into a film starring Joan Crawford. Her works include Class Reunion, The Room-Mating Season, The Last Chance, Family Secrets, The Cousins, Five Women, and Mazes and Monsters. During the late 1960s, she was hired to write cultural pieces for Cosmopolitan. She founded The Rona Jaffe Foundation, which presents annual awards to promising women writers of literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction including the Rona Jaffe Prizes in Creative Writing at Radcliffe and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards. She died from cancer on December 30, 2005 at the age of 74.