Bachelor, College New Rochelle, 1954. Master of Arts, Catholic University America, 1959. Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University, 1970.
Doctor of Laws (honorary), University New Brunswick, 1997.
Instructor, College New Rochelle, New York, 1963-1966; assistant Professor of English, Indiana U. Northwest, Gary, 1970-1971; assistant Professor of English, Mount Allison U., Sackville, N.B., Canada, 1976-1977; visiting Professor of English, Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, 1980-1981; visiting fiction writer, U. Idaho, Moscow, 1986-1987; writer in residence, Bemidji State University, 1987; writer in residence, Wichita State University, 1988; writer in residence, Mount Allison U., 1990-1991; Hallie Brown Ford chair English, Willamette U., Salem, Oregon, since 1996.
Married Albert Joseph Furtwangler, August 17, 1968. Children: Thomas, Andrew.