Born in Dodge City, Kansas, the author of Buffalo Spirits has survived two tornadoes, one rattlesnake bite, and too many dust storms to count. At the University of Kansas, she studied creative writing with esteemed professor Edgar Wolfe, and in 1968 she earned the University's top creative writing award for her short stories. In 1970, Elizabeth studied Modern English Literature at the University of London.
Between 1971 and 1985, Elizabeth Black wrote for a variety of publications, including Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Magazine, Mademoiselle, Playboy, and Cosmopolitan. From 1975–1977, she was co-editor of the Chicago Monthly magazine. Elizabeth co-authored a healthcare book (Harper & Row, 1983).
During the 80s and 90s, Elizabeth pursued a second career in art direction and graphic design, serving as art director of a number of magazines including Great American Pace, OS/2 Professional, and Biomechanics Magazine. She won a Folio Award for Art Direction in 1995 for Biomechanics Magazine. During those years, she also continued to publish articles in a variety of magazines, and edited Stride, a quarterly women's health magazine.
In 1999, Elizabeth left graphic design to resume her writing career full time, producing the novel Buffalo Spirits, a project she had long envisioned. The novel was named a finalist in the William Faulkner Novel Competition in 2002, was awarded the 2002 Three Oaks Prize in Fiction, and won the Helene Wurlitzer Award.