Alison Lurie was born in 1926 in Chicago (USA). Her first novel, Love and Friendship, appeared in 1962. It is set in an imaginary New England college town and describes an unexpected love affair. Since then, she has published several best- sellers, including The Nowhere City, set in Los Angeles, which includes an odd assortment of American types such as a film starlet and a psychiatrist; The War Between the Tates (1974), whose main character are a university professor, his distressed wife and a graduate student who becomes his lover; an Imaginary Friends (1967), featuring a group of eccentric people who think they are in touch with aliens and regularly visited by flying saucers.
This novel was later made into a film for television, like many other works by Laurie. Since 1970 she has taught American literature at Cornell University.
In 1985 her novel Foreign Affairs won the Pulitzer Prize. It takes place in London and reports the adventures of two American academics abroad. Her most recent work, The Last Resort (1998), concerns a couple of middle-aged people who undergo a deep crisis and reconsiders their views of love, marriage, growing old and death. She is famous for her sharp satire and ability to observe the changes in contemporary American society.