Born and raised in the glamorous insurance capital of Hartford, Conn., Lolly Winston holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she wrote a collection of short stories as her thesis.
Her first novel, Good Grief, published in 2004, was a New York Times best-seller, a #1 Book Sense pick, and was translated into 15 languages. The film rights have been optioned by Universal Studios. Her second novel, Happiness Sold Separately, also hit the New York Times best seller list upon its publication in August 2006. Her short stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southeast Review, The Third Berkshire Anthology, Girls' Night Out and others. She's contributed essays to the anthologies Kiss Tomorrow Hello (Doubleday, 2006), and the forthcoming book Bad Girls.
Over the years, Lolly has floundered at a number of English major jobs, including: waitress (cork in your wine, anyone?), house cleaner, corporate copywriter, and corporate public relations manager. She's not proud of the fact that she flunked the math on the Kelly Girl test.
In the early eighties she went to Hawaii for eight days and stayed for eight years, boogie boarding and working as the public affairs officer at a local trauma hospital. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1993, where she finally quit the corporate world to become a freelance journalist, starting out as a stringer for Automotive News. She went on to write for the San Jose Mercury News Sunday magazine, New Woman, Redbook, Glamour, Family Circle, Working Mother, Sunset, Lifetime and others. She teaches writing classes in fiction, feature stories and the art of the personal essay.
A groupie at heart, her favorite authors include: Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Tom Perrotta, Nick Hornby, Kate Atkinson, Walker Percy, Jeffrey Eugenides, Andrew Sean Greer, Mary Karr, George Saunders, Aimee Bender, Jane Austen, Dave Barry, David Sedaris, Andre Dubus III, Sylvia Plath, Raymond Carver, Ethan Canin, ZZ Packer, Jennifer Haigh, Edith Wharton, Jonathan Tropper, Amy Bloom, Christie Hodgen, Ellen Sussman, Jonathan Lethem, J.D. Salinger, Tobias Wolff, and Donald Barthelme.
She lives with her husband in Northern California.