Life and career
Kalpakian was born in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Peggy (Kalpakian), a secretary, and William Johnson, a technical representative. She grew up in southern California. She earned her undergraduate degree from University of California, Riverside in 1967. After starting her career as a social worker, she earned a master's degree from the University of Delaware in 1970. She earned a Ph.D. in literature from the University of California, San Diego in 1977.
She has received funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and has won a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and the first Anahid Literary Award for an American writer of Armenian descent.
Her sons are composer Bear McCreary and singer/musician Brendan McCreary.
- As Laura Kalpakian
- The Great Pretenders (Penguin Group, 2019), ISBN 9781101990186 
- American Cookery (St. Martin's Griffin, 2007)
- The Memoir Club (St. Martin's Griffin, 2005)
- Educating Waverly (William Morrow, 2002)
- The Delinquent Virgin (Graywolf Press, 1999)
- Steps and Exes: a novel of family (Bard, 1999)
- Caveat (John F. Blair, 1998)
- Cosette: the sequel to Les Misérables (HarperCollins, 1995)
- Graced Land (Grove Weidenfeld, 1992)
- Dark Continent and Other Stories (Viking, 1989)
- Crescendo (Random House, 1987)
- The Swallow Inheritance (Headline, 1987)
- Fair Augusto and Other Stories (Graywolf Press, 1986)
- These Latter Days (Times Books, 1985)
- Beggars and Choosers (Little, Brown, 1978)
- As Juliet Jackson
- Belle Haven (Viking, 1990)
- As Carenna Jane Greye
- Tiger Hill (Piatkus Books, 1985)
- Pilcer, Sonia (December 2, 1990). Fiction. (review of Belle Haven). Los Angeles Times
- Locher, Frances Carol; Evory, Ann (1979). Contemporary Authors: A Bio-bibliographical Guide to Current Authors and Their Works. Ed. Frances Carol Locher. ISBN 9780810300460.
- Polk, James (November 11, 1990). In short: Fiction. New York Times
- Staff report (September 19, 1999). Booksellers trade show comes to Spokane. Spokane Spokesman-Review