Karen E. Bender grew up in Los Angeles, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, novelist Robert Anthony Siegel, and their two children. She is the author of the novel Like Normal People (Houghton Mifflin, 2000).
Her short stories have appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Story, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review. Her fiction has been anthologized in the Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and Pushcart Prize series and has been read as part of the "Selected Short" series at Symphony Space in New York.
In 1997, she received the Rona Jaffe Writer's award. Bender has taught fiction writing at the Writer's Voice program in New York, as well as the MFA programs at Antioch Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has received an NEA fellowship.
She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and is co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Choice. She will be teaching at the 2009 Iowa Summer Writing Festival.