She was a registered nurse, a lead singer in a rock band, a waitress, an information clerk at a hotel, an actress in an improvisational theater group, and a secretary. Not all at once, of course. In 1985, she entered an essay contest at Parents Magazine and won. For seven years thereafter, she wrote personal essays and short stories for many magazines, including Redbook, The New York Times Magazine and New Woman. During that time, she was nominated for a National Magazine Award. She also wrote and delivered essays on Special Reports Television, and on ''Chronicle'', a television news magazine in Boston.
In 1992, she published her first book, Family Traditions. Since then, she has written five novels: Durable Goods, Talk Before Sleep, (a finalist for the 1996 ABBY Award), Range of Motion, The Pull of the Moon (to be published in paperback next fall by Jove), and Joy School. She is at work on another novel, still writes an occasional essay, and still thinks fondly of all the jobs she had except for the time she had to wash chickens in a hospital cafeteria. She has two daughters who write at least as well as she does. Berg lives in Massachusetts, and would never want to live anywhere else, not even in California.