The Mount Announces 2019 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Julia Phillips and Caroline Weber

(Lenox, MA)— The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, located in the Berkshires of Western Mass, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence: Pulitzer Prize winner Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, debut novelist Julia Phillips, and award-winning historian Caroline Weber. The three finalists were selected from a pool of over 110 applications and will be “in-residence” for three weeks in March. Their residencies will culminate with a public event, Writers in the House, free and open to the public on March 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available at

“This year’s selection was quite difficult,” says Rebecka McDougall, Communications & Community Outreach Director for The Mount. “We had applicants from all across the globe and from many different disciplines. Rachel, Caroline and Julia all stood out because of the passion behind their writing projects and their great appreciation of Edith Wharton.”

“As we enter the fourth year of our residency program we are grateful to be continuing the tradition with such a talented group of women,” remarks Susan Wissler, Executive Director. “This year the writers are focusing on very different topics and writing in different genres and disciplines it will be wonderful to see how they inspire each other.”

The 2019 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence

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. Rachel was recently featured on PBS Brief But Spectacular. 

Julia Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer TrainThe AtlanticSlate, 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. She will use the time at The Mount to work on the second book in the series.

About the Residence

What:  The Mount, Edith Wharton’s former home in Lenox, Massachusetts, offers two and three week residencies each March for three women poet, fiction, or creative nonfiction writers. The principal responsibility of each resident is to spend time further developing her creative work.

 When: Residencies are held in March. Each residency is scheduled so that there is overlap between the writers. This “mini” writers’ colony will give the residents a community of support and camaraderie.

Where: Edith Wharton designed The Mount, a Georgian revival mansion, on a wooded parcel on the shores of Laurel Lake and lived there from 1902-1911. It was at The Mount, which she called her “first true home,” that Wharton came into her own as a writer and produced some of her most iconic works.

Past Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence


  • Elif Batuman
  • Buzzy Jackson
  • Kate Reed Petty


  • Christene Barberich
  • Donna M. Lucey
  • Vanessa Manko


  • Claire McMillan
  • Yvonne Puig
  • Koren Zailckas


  • Natalie Dykstra


  • Kate Bolick
  • Francesca Segal

For more additional information and images, please contact Rebecka McDougall at, 413-551-5115.

 About The Mount:

The Mount, a National Historic Landmark, is both a historic site and vibrant center for culture inspired by American author Edith Wharton’s passions and achievements. Wharton built The Mount in 1902 as a country retreat.

The Mount collaborates with over 40 organizations to present lectures, theater, music, storytelling, workshops, and sculpture to diverse audiences. The Mount is the literary hub of the Berkshires, bringing both renowned and emerging writers and readers together for engaging conversations that inform and inspire.

The Mount hosts over 50,000 visitors annually.

The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, Mass. For more information visit or call 413-551-5100.