Deirdre McNamer was born and raised in north-central Montana. She attended the University of Washington and received a journalism degree from the University of Montana, then worked as a daily journalist until her thirties.
She is the author of four novels. Her first, Rima in the Weeds (HarperCollins), won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award. One Sweet Quarrel (HarperCollins),and My Russian (Houghton Mifflin) were both New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year.
Red Rover (Viking)was named to the Best Books of the Year lists of Artforum, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Rocky Mountain News.
She is a recipient of a 2015 Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council.
Her essays, short fiction, reviews and reporting have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Outside, among other venues.
She has taught writing at Cornell University, Williams College, Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, the University of Alabama, and the University of Montana. Since 1998 she has been a core faculty member of the University of Montana Creative Writing MFA program and also is on the faculty of the MFA Writing Seminars, Bennington College,Vermont.
Deirdre McNamer chaired the fiction panel of the National Book Awards in 2011 and was a judge for the 2015 PEN/Faulkner award. She lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband, writer Bryan Di Salvatore.
"...[McNamer's] understanding of human nature and her ability to convey it to readers makes her one of the more remarkable writers of our times."