Chandler Klang Smith grew up in Springfield, Illinois, before dropping out of high school early and running away to join the circus—or rather, the most circus-like educational environment she could find, namely, Bennington College. After four years of costume parties, lonely mountains, brilliant professors, passionate 3 a.m. aesthetic arguments, and dark nights of the soul, she graduated in 2005 with a concentration in literature and philosophy and journeyed on to the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia University, from which she graduated in 2007. At Columbia, she began the project that would develop into Goldenland Past Dark and discovered the joys and terrors of a city grown large beyond all reason, a mutant place nourished by history and money and the redemptive elixir of art.
In New York City, she has enmeshed herself variously in the great machine of publishing: as the ghostwriter of two young adult novels for Alloy Entertainment Group, as a reader for the Paris Review, as an assistant/associate agent for a boutique literary agency, and currently, as the Events Coordinator for the KGB Bar. She still loves books.