Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an adjunct professor at Tulane University and has published a study of early American motherhood, We Have
Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750–1835. She lives in New Orleans.