The Baby on the Fire Escape
The grant jury: Julie Phillips searches for a new understanding of what she calls “the unreported spaces of motherhood” through the biographies of six wildly talented women artists and writers. With her own undeniable artistry, Phillips has wrought her subjects into facets of a single, urgent project. She is an ambitious and elegant writer with a fierce passion to explore the split between work and parenting. The empathy, insight, and sheer amount of research that have gone into this project are staggering. The Baby on the Fire Escape is an assured work of social history, art history, and feminist theory written in unfailingly vivid and gripping prose.