Karbo's three previous books have all been named New York Times Notable books of the Year. Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me is a novel of babies and friendship, mothers and fathers, and the havoc of procreation. Trespassers Welcome Here, Karbo's first novel, was published in 1989 and deals with Soviet émigrés in Los Angeles. Her other books include Big Girl in the Middle and The Diamond Lane.
Karbo is a contributing editor at Conde Nast Women's Sports and Fitness, a correspondent for Outside magazine, and writes for Vogue, Elle, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company, and The New Republic. Her current specialty is the professional guinea pig story, where she puts herself through terrifying and humiliating experiences for the enjoyment of smarter people everywhere. Past guinea pig exploits include diving the World War II shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, surf camp, flying trapeze school, and shark handling in the Bahamas.
Karbo is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a past winner of a General Electric Younger Writer Award. She grew up in Whittier, California and graduated from USC film school.