Cary Groner grew up in the Midwest, then earned his BFA in directing from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He has worked as a journalist for many years, covering healthcare, science, and environmental issues, as well as theatre and film. From 1986-2002 he studied Buddhist meditation and philosophy with the late Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. In 2009, he received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Arizona. His debut novel, Exiles, was published by Spiegel & Grau / Random House, and was a Chicago Tribune best book of 2011.
Cary's short stories have won numerous awards. His story “Elaborate Preparations for Departure” won the Glimmer Train fiction open and was published in the summer 2010 issue. “The Meat Line” won the Hackney Award for a short story and was published in Mississippi Review in 2010. Another story, “Understanding the Sky,” won the annual fiction award at the Southern California Review and was published there in the fall of 2010. His story “Voyeuse” won second place in the American Fiction awards and was also published in fall 2010. “Summerhaven” was named runner-up in the 2009 Faulkner/Wisdom competition. Another story, “Inheritance,” was a finalist for the Danahy Award and was published in Tampa Review in the summer of 2011. "Flatwater" won second prize in the 2010 Hackney Award competition, was also a finalist for the Wabash Prize, and was published in 2011 in Sycamore Review. "The Goddess, Lonely," appeared in the debut issue of Zymbol in 2013, and "Oxygen" was published in the summer 2016 issue of Salamander.
Cary and his wife live in the San Francisco Bay area.