Cara Wall grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village and London’s South Kensington. As a child she read books, especially biography and historical fiction. Every Friday night, she and her parents spent the entire evening at the Brentano’s bookstore on 8th Street and University Place choosing their books for the weekend. After reading those books in two days, Cara spent every Monday afternoon in her school’s library finding new books, always dismayed that she could only check out two at a time.
She was raised attending The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, which was led by two dignified and august co-pastors. Her favorite part of Sunday School was the soft plastic Noah’s Ark that was missing the second giraffe. Her favorite church activities were the square dance and the Halloween party, but she also took tap dancing and played shuffle board in the church basement. For several months in 1981, she and her parents lived in the sexton’s apartment on the fifth floor of the church building, and for several years they managed to survive their church friends’ annual whitewater canoe trip on the waterways above Lake George.
She attended Grace Church School in New York City, Glendower Preparatory School in London, The Emma Willard School, Stanford University, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She now lives, once again, in Greenwich Village with her family.