Rebecca Schuman was born in Deep Springs, California and grew up in Eugene, Oregon. She graduated from Vassar College, and spent several years working in media and publishing in New York City before beginning her PhD in German at the University of California-Irvine, which she received in 2010. She taught at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Ohio State before leaving academia in 2013 to become a freelance writer. She writes the "Deutschland Über Us" column for THE AWL, and is a contributor to SLATE, QUARTZ, LITERARY HUB, the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, the ATLANTIC and other publications. She is also the author of several scholarly articles and KAFKA AND WITTGENSTEIN, an academic book based on her doctoral dissertation. SCHADENFREUDE is her first work of commercial nonfiction. 

Rebecca lives in St. Louis with her husband and young daughter.