Miranda Beverly-Whittemore was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1976. The daughter of a writer and an anthropologist, she moved to Senegal, in West Africa, when she was three. Her family conducted ethnographic research in a small Mandinko village there for nearly three years. After three intervening years in rural Vermont, by the age of nine she was living in Portland, Oregon, where she stayed until her 1994 graduation from the Catlin Gabel School. She subsequently attended Vassar College, where she received the Fiction Prize, and from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998, with general and departmental honors. After graduating, she worked for nearly three years at the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City, where she helped curate the main reading series and writing program.
It was while working at the Unterberg Poetry Center that Miranda wrote the first draft of The Effects of Light, which was published by Warner Books in February 2005. Called an "ambitious first novel" by the New York Times, it was a Booksense recommended book of the month. Miranda was invited to be a participant in that spring's First Fiction Tour, during which she traveled with three other first-time novelists on a tour of pubs spanning the country, from Boston to Ann Arbor, Iowa City, Seattle, Los Angeles and Austin. She was also honored to be included in the Christamore Book and Author Benefit in Indianapolis, as well as the New Voices program at Misty Valley Books in Chester, Vermont. The Effects of Light has been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Polish, French and Swedish.
Miranda wrote her second novel, Set Me Free, in the fall of 2005, and the book was published by Warner Books in March 2007. Publisher's Weekly has noted that the book's "allusions to Shakespeare and shifts in time and perspective make for an intriguing read." Miranda writes full-time from the home she shares with her husband in Brooklyn.