Deborah Eisenberg was born in Chicago in 1945. In 1987, she won a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the PEN Hemingway Citation. She has also been the recipient of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Stipendium (1991), the Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1993), the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award (1993), the Friends of American Writers Award (1993), and three O. Henry Awards (1986, 1995, 1997).

She is the author of a play, Pastorale, which was produced by Second Stage in New York in 1982, and three short story collections, Transactions in a Foreign Currency (1986, Knopf), Under the 82nd Airborne (1992, Farrar Straus & Giroux), and All Around Atlantis (1997, Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg, published in paperback by The Noonday Press, combines her first two collections in one volume. Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Bomb, and The Yale Review.

Deborah Eisenberg has been a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Utah, The City University of New York, and New York University. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is currently playing the role of Judy in Wallace Shawn's play. The Designated Mourner, directed by André Gregory.

Biographical information prepared the year of the award.