Allegra Goodman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1967, but grew up in Honolulu. She has been writing prose avidly since the age of seven.
Her first book, a collection of stories titled Total Immersion, was published in 1989 on the same day that she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. While pursuing her Ph.D in English at Stanford, Goodman also wrote for The New Yorker and completed her second book of stories, The Family Markowitz, which quickly became a national bestseller. The Family Markowitz was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 1996 and was the fiction winner in the First Annual Salon Book Awards.
Her novels to date are: Kaaterskill Falls (1998), Paradise Park (2001), Intuition (2006), The Other Side of the Island (2008) and The Cookbook Collector (2010). Her short story La Vita Nuova was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2011 and was broadcast on Public Radio International's Selected Shorts in February 2012.
When her husband accepted a job at MIT, they moved back to Cambridge Mass, where they and their now four children still live.