Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Frances FitzGerald

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: NEW YORK and MAINE
MacDowell Fellowships: 1969

Frances FitzGerald is a distinguished American author and journalist. Her work in cultural history and politics have earned her numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize for History, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Award, the Overseas Press Club award for the best interpretation of foreign affairs, the English Speaking Union award for literature, and the Los Angeles Times award for nonfiction.

FitzGerald graduated from Radcliffe College in 1962 and launched her journalistic career as a writer for the Herald Tribune. She covered the Vietnam War for the New York Times and after returning from the war spent the next five years writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning work Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972). Subsequent works were America Revised: History of School Books in the Twentieth Century (1979), Cities on a Hill: A Journey through Contemporary American Culture (1987) and Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the end of the Cold War (2000). Her study of the postwar resurgence of traditional Vietnamese culture, Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth (2001) featured photographs by collaborator Mary Cross. FitzGerald is a contributor to The New Yorker and has written for numerous other publications including The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Architectural Digest, Islands and Rolling Stone.

About her residency at MacDowell in 1969, she commented, “MacDowell is a beautiful desert island. It offers silence and time for the most unadulterated form of concentration. It's an experience all artists, writers and composers should have at least once.” Married to former Wall Street Journal writer James P. Sterba, FitzGerald currently lives in New York City and Maine.



Frances FitzGerald worked in the Mansfield studio.

The Helen Coolidge Mansfield Studio was donated by graduates of the Mansfield War Service Classes for Reconstruction Aides. Helen Mansfield helped found the New York MacDowell Club. The small, shingled frame structure with stone foundation was originally fronted on the west side by a neat white picket fence and gate, a garden, and a stone pathway…

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