Susanna Moore was born December 9, 1945 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, although she was raised in Hawaii. She worked as a model and script reader in LA and NYC before beginning her career as a writer. Her first novel, My Old Sweetheart, published in 1982, earned a PEN Hemingway omination, and won the Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She followed this with The Whiteness of Bones in 1989, and her third novel, Sleeping Beauties, in 1993. All three of these novels were set in Hawaii and charted dysfunctional family relationships.

Moore gained particular critical notice for her fourth novel, In the Cut (1995), which marked a departure from her previous works in both setting and content, concerning a New York City teacher who has a sexual affair with a detective investigating violent murders and dismemberments in her neighborhood. It was adapted into a 2003 feature film by director Jane Campion.

In 1999, she received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Moore went on to publish two works in 2003: the
 novel One Last Lookand the non-fiction I Myself Have Seen It: The Myth of Hawai‘i, an autobiographical work that explored Moore's upbringing in Hawaii.

In 2006, Moore received a Fellowship in Literature at the American Academy in Berlin and in 2006 received a Fellowship in Literature from the Asian Cultural Council.

Moore was visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Yale University from 1988-1994, a 
visiting lecturer at New York Graduate School in 1995, a creative writing teacher at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn from 2004-2006, and has been a creative writing lecturer at Princeton University since 2007.

Visiting Fellow, Princeton University, 2012-present

Teacher of Creative Writing, GED Program, Board of Education, New York, New York, 2008-2011

Lecturer, Department of Creative Writing, Princeton University, 2007-12

Writer-in-residence, University of Adelaide, Australia, 2009

Fellowship in Literature, Asian Cultural Council, 2007

Fellowship in Literature, The American Academy in Berlin, 2006     

Teacher, Creative Writing, Brooklyn Federal Detention Center, United States Bureau of  Prisons, 2004-6

Prize for Literary Achievement, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1999

Lecturer, Department of Creative Writing, New York University Graduate School, 1995

Lecturer in Creative Writing, Department of English, Yale University, 1988, 1989, 1994