Alice Sebold was born in 1963 and grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. In 1981 as a freshman at Syracuse University, she was raped, an event that had a profound impact on her writing. At Syracuse she studied writing under Tess Gallagher and Raymond Carver, then, after graduating from Syracuse in 1984, she briefly attended graduate school at the University of Houston before moving to Manhattan. Sebold lived there for ten years, trying to earn a living as a writer. This attempt for the most part failed, and instead, she taught and worked in restaurants. During this time, Sebold drank heavily and used many illegal drugs, including heroin. She left Manhattan to move to California in 1994. There she briefly worked as the caretaker of an arts colony before earning an MFA from the University of California at Irvine. She met her current husband and fellow writer Glen David Gold at the university. After graduating, she began to write her memoir, Lucky, which recounts the story of her rape and which was published in 1999. She had begun writing The Lovely Bones at UC-Irvine but only completed the novel after writing Lucky. The Lovely Bones was published in the summer of 2002. Sebold is currently working on a new novel from her home in Long Beach, California.