Born and raised in Redondo Beach, California, Erin McGraw moved to Indiana in 1982 and received her MFA from Indiana University. Teaching first at DePauw University, then the University of Cincinnati, and finally the Ohio State University, she lived in the Midwest for thirty years before retiring with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins, to Sewanee, Tennessee.

Her fiction, both comic and dramatic, comes back over and over to certain besetting concerns: how does the place we live affect the world we see and the choices we make? What does an ethical life look like, and how in the world do we build it?

In addition to Better Food for a Better World (Slant, 2013), McGraw is the author of Joy (stories), The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard (a novel), The Good Life (stories), The Baby Tree (a novel), Lies of the Saints (stories, and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996), and Bodies at Sea (stories). Her stories and essays have appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Good Housekeeping, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, STORY, The Georgia Review, and many others. A Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 1988 to 1990, she has also received fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the corporations of MacDowell and Yaddo.