Lucy Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium in 1954, and emigrated with her family to the United States in the early 1960s. She was educated at Columbia University, but did not take a degree. She was an assistant to Barbara Epstein at The New York Review of Books, and since 1999 has taught writing and the history of photography at Bard College. Her books include Maybe the People Would Be the Times (2020), The Other Paris (2015), Kill All Your Darlings (2007), The Factory of Facts (1998), Evidence (1992), Low Life: The Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991), and Nineteen Reservoirs: On Their Creation and the Promise of Water for New York City (2022), which was an expansion of her Places series, “Reservoir: Nature, Culture, Infrastructure.”
She has received Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships, as well as a Whiting Writer’s Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an Infinity Award in Writing from the International Center of Photography, and a Grammy, for album notes.