A two-time National Book Award finalist, Greene is a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, the ACLU Civil Liberties Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She was also short-listed for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She holds an honorary doctorate from Emory University and was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 1999, "Praying For Sheetrock" was named one of the 100 best works of English-language journalism of the 20th century by a panel convened by NYU. Entertainment Tonight named it one of the New Classics: The Best 100 Books of the Last 25 Years. Greene has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Newsweek, The Washington Post, LIFE, Elle, Redbook, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping and other periodicals. A New York Times Magazine article, “Wonder Dog,” is the basis of her book in progress. She and her husband, defense attorney Don Samuel, live in Atlanta and they are the parents of nine.