Writers in the House: A Conversation with our 2019 Writers-in-Residence

March 19, 2019 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Drawing Room at The Mount
2 Plunkett St
Lenox, MA 01240

A discussion with The Mount’s 2019 Writers-in-Residence: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Julia Phillips, and Caroline Weber.


Pulitzer Prize winner Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Fulbright fellow and debut novelist Julia Phillips, and historian Caroline Weber will discuss their past and present work, their careers, and their experience writing in the home of Edith Wharton, moderated by 2015 resident Natalie Dykstra. They will also touch on the legacy of Edith Wharton and her continuing influence on women writers.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2018 for her profile of white supremacist and mass murderer Dylann Roof. She was also a National Magazine Award finalist in 2014 for her profile of elusive comedian Dave Chappelle. Her work has also appeared in The Paris Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Rolling Stone, Transition, and The New Republic among other publications. Her first book, The Explainers and the Explorers, is forthcoming from Scribner. Rachel will use her time at The Mount to work on her book which explains 400 years (1605-2017) of black American history through profiles.

Julia Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Moscow Times. Her debut novel, Disappearing Earth, is forthcoming from Knopf in the US and Scribner in the UK, as well as publishers in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and China. She will use her time at The Mount to revise her second book By Force, which is about a woman who discovers that her husband as a teenager took part in a sexual assault of one of his classmates.

Caroline Weber is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University; she has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. She is the author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution (2006). She has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Financial Times, London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and New York magazine. Her most recent work Proust’s Duchess was published in 2018, and she will use the time at The Mount to work on the second book in the series.

Natalie Dykstra has received a National Endowment for the Humanties fellowship for her work on Clover Adams.  She is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and an associate professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She is the author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life. 


The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities.Please contact us at 413-551-5100 or by email, info@edithwharton.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.