Discipline: Literature – fiction

Clare Beams

Discipline: Literature – fiction
Region: Pittsburgh, PA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2021

Clare Beams’s novel The Illness Lesson was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a best book of 2020 by Esquire and Bustle, and a best book of February by Time, O Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Her story collection We Show What We Have Learned won the Bard Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. Her short fiction appears in such places as One Story, Ecotone, Conjunctions, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two daughters and has taught creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and the Randolph College MFA program.

While at MacDowell, she worked on a revision of her new novel, The Garden (forthcoming from Doubleday in 2023), a mid-century Gothic tale in which a husband-and-wife team of medical researchers pioneer a “cure” for miscarriage.

Portrait by Kristi Jan Hoover

Made at MacDowell

Fellow Works Supported by MacDowell

The Garden (novel)



Clare Beams worked in the Barnard studio.

Originally built near MacDowell's Union Street entrance, the Barnard Studio — which was funded by Barnard College music students — was re-located to its current site in 1910. When the small structure was moved, its size was doubled with the addition of a second room. This remodeling, financed by Mrs. Thomas E. Emery of Cincinnati…

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