Wolff grew up in Seattle, Washington. When her parents divorced, she found herself a white girl in a black neighborhood with a white father who expected her to integrate into the black community the way he had. She later wrote about these experiences in her memoir, I'm Down.
After having a humorous piece published in BlackBook Magazine, Wolff began performing on stage at Luna Lounge and the Upright Citizens Brigade. There she honed her comedic skills and performed personal essays in the LA storytelling series "Sit 'n Spin". She has been featured on VH1, Comedy Central, Air America and NPR. Her one-person show "I’m Down” was the basis of her memoir of the same name. Mishna Wolff was one of the 2009 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Fellows.
Wolff's I'm Down: A Memoir was published by St. Martin's Press in 2009 and was a national best seller.
In 2011, KCBD of Lubbock, Texas, ran a story about I'm Down's being littered with profanity and inappropriate for Lubbock County English students. The book was removed from classrooms pending formal school district review. The school board voted unanimously to continue teaching it. One of the principals even assigned it to all his administrators.
I'm Down was chosen as Florida International University's Common Reader 2012–2013, and the Common Reader for Colorado Mountain College for 2013-2014. She was a guest speaker at both colleges.
Wolff was married to comic Marc Maron, and their divorce was the subject of Marc Maron's one-man show Scorching the Earth. Her marriage to Maron was a frequent topic in Maron's stand-up, podcasts, and one-man shows. Maron had characterized his behavior during their marriage as emotionally abusive. She later married screenwriter Jeremy Doner; the couple has one child.
- "White Author Says, 'I'm Down'". npr.org. 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
- "Author Mishna Wolff Speaker Bio - Find Academic Interest, Humor, Outside the Box, Culture & Society Motivational Speaker". Macmillanspeakers.com. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Mishna Wolff". Huffingtonpost.com. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Stegall, Amber. "LISD 9th grade reading assignment littered with profanity - KCBD, NewsChannel 11 Lubbock". Kcbd.com. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "I'm Down the Book". Mishnawolff.com. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Book 2012-2013". http://fiu.edu. Retrieved 2014-09-24. External link in
- "Mishna Wolff's 'I'm Down' Common Reader book - Colorado Mountain College". http://coloradomtn.edu. Retrieved 2014-09-24. External link in
- "Mishna Wolff - Biography - IMDb". http://imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-09-24. External link in
- Maron, Marc (April 30, 2013). Attempting Normal. New York: Spiegel & Grau. p. 92. ISBN 978-0812992878.