Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Rachel E. Gross

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019, 2023

Rachel E. Gross is a longtime science journalist and the author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage (W.W. Norton 2022), a New York Times Editors' Choice and a finalist for the 2023 PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing and the 2023 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. One chapter of the book, on the untold history of IVF, was written at MacDowell in 2019. She now tells deeply reported stories about bodies and the culture of medicine for The New York Times and others.

Her coverage of medicine’s blind spots when it comes to female sexuality has won awards and led to appearances on PBS NewsHour, NPR’s Science Friday, BBC’s Women’s Hour, and WNYC’s The Takeaway. Previously, Gross was a reporter at Slate (where she won the 2016 Wilbur Award for her profile of an evangelical creationist who embraced the science of evolution), a science editor at Smithsonian, and a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

At MacDowell in 2023, Gross drafted a feature on the use of menstrual blood for diagnosing chronic diseases for The New Yorker and developed a long-term project on the future of medical care for intersex children. This work is a continuation of her reporting for her book Vagina Obscura.


New Jersey

Rachel E. Gross worked in the New Jersey studio.

The yellow clapboard New Jersey Studio, located on a grassy, sloping site, was funded by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs and built as an exact replica of Monday Music Studio (1913). The studio’s porch rests on fieldstone piers that increase in height as the ground slopes to the west. Like Monday Music Studio, New Jersey…

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