Mary Beth Keane was born in New York City and grew up in Rockland County, New York. She is the oldest of three sisters, and her parents are both from the west of Ireland.
Mary Beth began writing fiction in grammar school and decided in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer. She went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Bergen County, New Jersey. After high school, Mary Beth attended Barnard College. It was at Barnard that she began to write more seriously, and took Mary Gordons famous story writing workshop where she was introduced to the fiction of Alice Munro, William Trevor, Jean Stafford, and Katherine Anne Porter. She earned an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Virginia in 2005.
Her short fiction has appeared in various newspapers and journals including The Chicago Tribune, The Antioch Review, The Baltimore Review, New York Stories, and The Recorder.
Mary Beth Keane is the author of The Walking People (2009) and Fever (2013), about the life of Typhoid Mary. She attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in Fiction. In 2011, she was named one of the National Book Foundation's 5 under 35. She lives just outside New York City with her husband and their two sons
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