(Lenox, MA)— The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home, located in the Berkshires of Western Mass, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence: novelist Claire McMillan, author of Gilded Age, published by Simon and Schuster; writer Yvonne Puig, whose first novel, A Wife of Noble Character, is forthcoming from Henry Holt; and writer Koren Zailckas, whose memoir Smashed spent twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
The three finalists were selected from a pool of over 40 applications and will be “in-residence” at The Mount for several weeks this March. The writers will have the use of the house as a retreat each day during their stay. While in-residence, all three writers will participate in a public program, Writers in the House, co-sponsored by the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, on Monday, March 14th at 3:30. The panel discussion will focus on their current projects, careers, and Edith Wharton as a continuing influence on writers in the 21st century. Both McMillan and Puig have written modern retellings of Wharton’s The House of Mirth.
When asked about the opportunity, Puig stated, “It is hard to put into words how much this opportunity means to me. Edith Wharton’s stories are so true and powerful, they make you feel that you’re living Edith’s own heart and mind, so to write in the home which she built from her heart, where she wrote The House of Mirth, is quite literally a dream come true.”
“We initially planned to select one recipient but the pool was so strong, we started talking about the possibility of selecting more than one writer,” said Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount. “We all got very excited by the idea of having multiple writers here, at the same time, sharing their work, having inspired conversations, and discussing the written word…it’s what The Mount was designed for. Luckily the timing worked, and Claire, Yvonne, and Koren were excited by the prospect.”
For the past two years, The Mount has informally offered the use of the house to writers. This is the first year The Mount has posted the residency and accepted applications. Based on the success of this year, The Mount plans to continue offering a residency each year.
For more information on the Edith Wharton Writer-in Residence program and the upcoming panel, Writers in the House, please visit EdithWharton.org.
About The Mount:
The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. We engage a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through our educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens.
Each year, The Mount is host to over 40,000 visitors. Daily tours of the property are offered May through October, with special events throughout the year. Annual summer programming includes a joint exhibit with SculptureNow, Wharton on Wednesdays, Music After Hours, and the celebrated Monday Lecture Series. Exhibitions explore themes from Wharton’s life and work.
For more information, visit EdithWharton.org.