Born in London, Emily Mitchell moved to the United States as a teenager. She has since lived in Vermont, Osaka, London, New York, San Francisco,West Virginia, Ohio, and Washington DC.
She holds a B. A. from Middlebury College in Vermont. She worked at an editor at Index on Censorship magazine in London and at About.com in New York before getting her M. F. A. at Brooklyn College.
She is the author of a novel, The Last Summer of the World (Norton, 2007), an imaginative account of art-photographer Edward Steichen’s work in aerial reconnaissance during World War One, which was a finalist for the 2008 New York Public Library Young Lions Prize and a best-book-of-the-year in the Madison Capital Times, the Austin American-Statesman and the Providence Journal. She is also the author of a collection of short stories, Viral (Norton, 2015). Her short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Ploughshares, New England Review, TriQuarterly and Alaska Quarterly Review, among other magazines. Her book reviews have appeared in the New York Times and the New Statesman. She has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Ucross Foundation. She lives near Washington, DC and teaches writing at the University of Maryland.
She loves bad films, ugly animals, abandoned buildings and the way some pop songs from the 1980s manage to combine sweetness and despair into one.