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Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple, photo by Elena Seibert

Brenda Wineapple is the author most recently of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, a work of political and cultural history that tells the complex story of how America faced the crime of slavery and redefined the meaning of itself as one nation. A New York Times “Notable Book,” Ecstatic Nation is “magnificent,” Daniel Walker Howe wrote in The Wall Street Journal—and  “written in the style of Van Wyck Brooks, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Carl Sandburg, with a dash of David McCullough,” said the Boston Globe.

Her other books include White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award; Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner;Sister Brother Gertrude and Leo Stein; and Hawthorne: A Life, which received the Ambassador Award for the Best Biography of 2003. She is the editor of The Selected Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier for the Library of America’s American Poets Project and the anthology, Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing.

Her numerous honors include a 2014 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pushcart Prize, the Marburg Award for Arts Writing, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and two National Endowment Fellowships in the Humanities. She regularly contributes to major publications such as the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, Bookforum, the Nation, Threepenny Review, and the American Scholar.

An elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, and formerly Distinguished Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at The Graduate School, CUNY, Brenda Wineapple teaches in the MFA programs at The New School and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She lives in New York City with her husband, the composer Michael Dellaira—and is now writing a book about presidential impeachment (notably Andrew Johnson’s).


selected bibliography

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 (2013)
Nineteenth Century American Writers on Writing (2010)
White Heat (2008)
Hawthorne: A Life (2003)
Sister Brother Gertrude & Leo Stein (1996)
Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner (1989)

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