May Spangler was born and raised in Paris, where she graduated with a master’s degree in architecture from the École des Beaux-Arts in 1982. During her senior year, she received a scholarship to study at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and met Dickie Spangler. She emigrated to the United States in 1980 and worked as an intern architect in two Atlanta firms.
After a few years, May embraced a career that would allow her to write and spend more time with her family. She went to study at Emory University in Atlanta, received a Ph.D. in French in 1996, and taught courses combining her interest in architecture and literature. Her publications in French and English include a monograph, Monstrer Diderot (Ph.D. dissertation), a memoir, Papa a dit, Maman aussi (Paris: Edition Unicité, 2015), and a textbook and teacher manual, Paris in Architecture, Literature, and Art (New York: Peter Lang, 2018). May is now working on another memoir, The Architect’s Eye.