Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Francesca Mari

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Cambridge, MA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019, 2023

Francesca Mari is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and an assistant professor of the practice at Brown University. She writes about housing, con men, abuses of power, and, every so often, fashion.

While at MacDowell in 2019, Francesca completed a longform article about the rise of private equity landlords following the 2008 financial crisis for The New York Times Magazine and wrote a thematically-related review of Homewreckers, a book on the role of vulture capitalists in housing, for the New York Review of Books. She also completed editing on a story, begun three years earlier, about the identity theft of 40,000 Vietnamese fishermen after Deepwater Horizon for the Atlantic Magazine.

At MacDowell, in 2023, she wrote a story for the New York Times Magazine about studying Vienna's social housing as a way of diagnosing the dysfunction in the U.S. housing market. Her last housing story for the magazine, on the pandemic real estate boom, was one of the magazine's most-read of the year and the subject of a Daily podcast. Her first housing story for the magazine, on the Wall Street acquisition of single-family homes, has been repeatedly cited in reports by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and inspired doctorate work by sociologists at Princeton.


Phi Beta

Francesca Mari worked in the Phi Beta studio.

Funded by the Phi Beta Fraternity, a national professional fraternity of music and speech founded in 1912, Phi Beta Studio was built between 1929–1931 of granite quarried on the MacDowell grounds. The small studio is a simple in design, but displays a pleasing combination of materials with its granite walls and colorful slate roofing. Inside is…

Learn more