Born to a pioneer family in West Palm Beach, Florida on July 21, 1929, Virginia knew from the age of 12 that she wanted to someday be a writer. Carr is the recipient of a number of awards as an instructor at Columbus State University, in Columbus, Georgia including the Outstanding Teacher Award, followed by an appointment as a senior Fulbright professor in Poland in 1980-81. In 1985 Virginia moved to Georgia State University in Atlanta to chair the Department in English. In 1993 she was named the John B. and Elena Diaz Verson Amos Distinguished Professor in English Letters, a position she held until her retirement from Georgia State in September of 2003. In November 2004, Virginia will receive the prestigious John Hurt Fisher Award, presented annually by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Virginia also is the recipient of a Melon Fellowship, awarded by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas, Austin, and a Stanley J. Kahrl Fellowship awarded by Harvard University.

Her biography of Carson McCullers, The Lonely Hunter, published in 1975 with an introduction by Tennessee Williams, was republished in 2003 by the University of Georgia Press; her biography of John Dos Passos, Dos Passos: A Life, published in 1984, will be republished in the fall of 2004 by Northwestern University, with a new introduction by Donald Pizer; and her latest biography, Paul Bowles: A Life, will be published in October of 2004. Virginia has also published Understanding Carson McCullers and books on Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas."

She is already at work on Radiance: A Biography of Eudora Welty, Welty having died in 2001 at the age of 92 in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Virginia has also returned to her work on a biography of Tennessee Williams, which she expects to complete in 2007.