Center graduated from St. John's School in Houston, Texas, and from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She won the Vassar College Fiction Prize while a student. She received her M.A. in fiction from the University of Houston. While attending the University of Houston she served as the co-editor of the literary fiction magazine, Gulf Coast. Her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.
Center's work is often categorized as Chick Lit and Mommy Lit. Her first novel was The Bright Side of Disaster. Her second novel was entitiled Everyone is Beautiful. Along with Jeffrey Toobin and Douglas Brinkley, Center was one of the speakers at the 2007 Houston Chronicle Book and Author Dinner.