Margaret Dawe studied literature as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. She received a master’s degree in science from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and worked as a newspaper reporter for the East Hampton Star, where her reporting and feature writing won press association awards. She received a master’s degree in fine arts from Brooklyn College and her novel Nissequott was published by New Directions and was a critical success. The New York Times Book Review listed it as a "new and noteworthy paperback."
Her nonfiction has appeared in the Sonora Review and the Antioch Review. She is finishing her second novel, Missing Woman, and is at work on a third book that is set in Wichita. She is an associate professor.