Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Laura Esther Wolfson

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2018

Laura Esther Wolfson is the author of For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors, winner of the 2017 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction, forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in June 2018. The book has been described as a memoir, a booklength essay, a story collection, and an essay collection. Her work has won the Notting Hill Essay Prize, been repeatedly cited in The Best American Essays and published in Gettysburg Review, The Rumpus, The Sun, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. It blends travel writing, literary criticism, confessional, prose poetry, and historical elements, making liberal use of wordplay, double entendre, chiasmus, synecdoche, metonymy, and other literary devices, as well as hidden and half quotations. She is a professional translator of Russian and French to English. In residence, she expanded the first section of her projected second book of literary nonfiction/autofiction, tentatively entitled Super-Pricey Royal Blue French Lace Bra. It focuses on themes of love, illness, sex, love of literature, and hypocrisy at the United Nations.

Portrait by Florence Montmare


Phi Beta

Laura Esther Wolfson 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…

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