NYT Critic A.O. Scott to Kick Off 2016 Author Series at The Mount

Touchstones series host Kate Bolick (photo Willy Somma)

Touchstones series host Kate Bolick (photo Willy Somma)

(LENOX, Mass.) – Critic A.O. Scott, essayist Katie Roiphe, and novelist Emma Straub will be featured guests in the annual Touchstones series at The Mount, which kicks off on Thursday, August 11, at 5:30pm, with Scott in conversation with cultural critic Kate Bolick, who hosts the series. The Thursday night series continues with Roiphe on August 18 and concludes with Straub on August 25.

A.O. Scott is a chief film critic at the New York Times and Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism at Wesleyan University. Over the past two decades, he has contributed essays and reviews to the New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, GQ and many other publications. His book “Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth” was published in February.

Katie Roiphe is the author of several books, including “The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism”; “Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages”; “In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays”; and a novel, “Still She Haunts Me.” Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Harper’s, Vogue, Esquire, Slate, and Tin House. She has a Ph.D. in literature from Princeton University and is the director of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University. She lives in Brooklyn.

Emma Straub

Emma Straub

Emma Straub is the New York Times-bestselling author of “The Vacationers,” “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures,” and the short story collection “Other People We Married.” Her most recent book, “Modern Lovers.” was named one of Summer’s Best Books by People magazine. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, and Condé Nast Traveler, and she is a contributing writer for Rookie. Straub’s work has been published in fifteen countries.


This is the third season of Touchstones at The Mount. The series was conceived as an opportunity to bring contemporary writers to the Berkshires to discuss current cultural and social trends. Past participants have included Jennifer Finney Boylan, Megan Daum, Richard Russo, and Scott Stossell.

Kate Bolick, the series host, has been a long-time friend of The Mount and an avid Edith Wharton fan. Wharton is one of Bolick’s “awakeners” in her New York Times bestselling literary memoir, “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own.”

“The Mount’s commitment to celebrating Edith Wharton’s multifaceted genius is one of New England’s greatest treasures. I am so honored and grateful that I get to play my small part by inviting writers of all genres to come talk about their work. This year’s roster — two critics and a novelist — dissect and reflect back to us our contemporary moment with a depth and flair that Wharton herself would have appreciated,” said Bolick.

Kate Bolick is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own,” a contributing editor for The Atlantic, and a freelance writer for various publications, including the New York Times, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal. Previously, she was executive editor of Domino and a columnist for The Boston Globe. She has appeared on NBC’s Today show, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and numerous NPR programs across the country. A recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, she holds a master’s in cultural criticism from New York University, where she currently teaches writing.

Touchstones will take place on the Terrace at The Mount and tickets are $15 for Mount members and $18 for general public and include a booksigning. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Mount or call 413-551-5100.


A.O. Scott (photo Carmen Henning)

A.O. Scott (photo Carmen Henning)

About The Mount

The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. We engage a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through our educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens.

Each year, The Mount is host to over 42,000 visitors. Daily tours of the property are offered May through October, with special events throughout the year. Annual summer programming includes a joint exhibit with SculptureNow, Wharton on Wednesdays, Music After Hours, and the celebrated Monday Lecture Series. Exhibitions explore themes from Wharton’s life and work.

The Mount has become the literary hub of the Berkshires, regularly hosting esteemed writers — including novelists, poets, biographers, scholars, and journalists — for readings and discussions. Writers who have appeared recently at The Mount include David McCullough, Richard Russo, Sharon Olds, Megan Daum, and Darryl Pinckney.

The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, Mass. For more information visit The Mount or call 413-551-5100.


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