L. M. Keynes was born in London and grew up in Cambridge. In 1996 she was judged a WH Smith Young Writer of the Year by Ted Hughes. She won a full scholarship to study at University College in Oxford University, where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in 2010. She now works as a critic and freelance writer in Cambridge. She's reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement and the Observer, and writes regularly for The Catholic Herald, The Tablet, and Standpoint magazine.