Sue Miller was born Susan Nichols in Chicago in 1943. Her father was an ordained minister who taught church history. Both her grandfathers were also ministers, which gave Miller a strong sense of what she called moral patterns. She attended Radcliffe College, now part of Harvard University. Soon after graduating, she married and then had a son. The couple divorced within three years. While married she worked a variety of job to help her husband study medicine. After her divorce, she worked as a teacher in child care centres and then took a Master’s from Harvard in early childhood care. She would later earn a Master’s in creative writing and teaching. After being awarded a fellowship in creative writing from Boston University, she started publishing stories in various magazines. She started work on what would be her first published novel but continued to teach. Another marriage ended in divorce. However, her first novel brought her the success to become a full-time writer. Since then she has published novels and short stories, some of which have been made into films.