Ceridwen Dovey was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and attended North Sydney Girls High School.
In 1999, she left Australia for undergraduate study at Harvard, where she completed a joint degree in anthropology and visual & environmental studies. Her work included documentaries on post-apartheid South Africa, with a focus on labour relations.
Dovey spent a year as a research assistant for the current affairs program NOW with Bill Moyers after graduation, before returning to study. She wrote her novel Blood Kin as her thesis for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town. She then obtained a PhD in anthropology from New York University.
Dovey regularly contributes non-fiction and essays to newyorker.com (The New Yorker’s website), and to The Monthly.
As of 2018, she lives in Sydney.
In 2019, she released Inner Worlds Outer Spaces, a collection of essays about the working lives of professional from euthanasia activists to rugby league players. In 2020, she won the UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing for 'True Grit', an article published in Wired on the unexpected problems of moondust. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the Bragg Prize for 'Everlasting Free-fall'.