Rachel grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where she spent summers checking out very tall stacks of books from the library. She became interested in Sweden and the Swedish language early on, and majored in Scandinavian Studies as an undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. She spent a college semester abroad in Gothenburg, Sweden. After a few years off, she returned to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to get her MA and PhD, also in Scandinavian Studies. She began her career in translation while at UW-Madison, thanks to meeting Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri when he visited campus. Rachel's debut translation was Khemiri's novel Montecore, and she has since translated several of Khemiri's short stories and plays as well as crime novels by Åke Edwardson, Jan Wallentin, and Arne Dahl.