Millen Brand was born in Jersey City, to a Pennsylvania Dutch family. After graduating from Columbia University, he worked as a psychiatric aide, a copywriter, and a lecturer at New York University and New Hampshire University before establishing himself as a writer with his bestselling first novel, The Outward Room. He later worked as a screenwriter and as an editor for Crown Publishers.
Late in life, Brand began to rediscover his Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. In addition to writing the introduction for George Tice’s Fields of Peace, he published a book of poems about the Pennsylvania Dutch called Local Lives. He also bought a small farm in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where he spent his summers. He died in 1980 and was buried in Concord, Massachusetts.