Discipline: Literature

Peter Manseau

Discipline: Literature
Region: Annapolis, MD
MacDowell fellowships: 2015, 2021

Peter Manseau is the Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He is the author of eight books including the memoir Vows, the novel Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter, the travelogue Rag and Bone, the retelling of America's diverse spiritual formation One Nation, Under Gods, and most recently the narrative history The Apparitionists.

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Literature, the Ribalow Prize for Fiction, and a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, he has also been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize and the Prix Médicis étranger, awarded to the best foreign novel published in France.

During his 2021 MacDowell residency, Peter worked on his sixth book, a narrative nonfiction account of photography, fraud, and spiritualism in the wake of the Civil War.

Studios

Wood

Peter Manseau worked in the Wood studio.

Wood Studio, given to the residency program by Mrs. Frederick Trevor Hill, was completed in 1913 in memory of Mrs. Hill’s mother, Helen Ogden Wood. Like Schelling Studio, the building is sided with large, overlapping pieces of hemlock bark. When the studio was renovated in 1995, MacDowell staff researched the origins of this unusual building material and…

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