Webster was educated at Swarthmore College, Barnard College, and Columbia University, and completed doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
She is the author of five novels, including The Beheading Game (2006) and Vienna Triangle (2009), which appeared on bestseller lists in both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. Webster is the current president of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association West. Webster"s memoir The Last Good Freudian recounts a privileged childhood that was deeply affected by her family"s devotion to Freudian ideology.
Webster herself entered psychoanalysis at age 14, but eventually rebelled against what she saw as the patriarchy of orthodox Freudianism.
Her husband is Ira M., Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley and author of A History of Islamic Societies.