Whitney Terrell's novel, The Good Lieutenant (FSG), was selected as a best book of 2016 by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Refinery 29. It was long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He is also the author of The Huntsman (Viking), a New York Times notable book in 2001, and The King of Kings County (Viking), which was selected as a best book of 2005 by the Christian Science Monitor. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he teaches Creative Writing. He has also taught fiction at Princeton University and was the Hodder Fellow for 2008-2009.

His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, The New Republic, Literary Hub, and other publications. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq during 2006 and 2010 and covered the war for The Washington Post Magazine, Slate and NPR. He was born and raised in Kansas City.