Belva Plain is a third-generation Jewish American who was raised in New York City.She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in history and has lived in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey.
Before breaking into publishing, Belva Plain wrote short stories for magazines while raising her three children. Her first novel, Evergreen, was published in 1979. It topped the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks and was made into a TV miniseries. As of 2004, there were over 25 million copies of her twenty-plus novels in print in 23 languages. Plain does not own a computer, and writes all of her novels long-hand on a yellow pad.
Plain was married to her husband, Irving Plain, for over forty years. He died in 1982.