Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was a brilliant, clever American writer known for such works as The House of Mirth and Ethan Frome. She became the first woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the 1921 Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. A member of the New York elite, Wharton funnelled her experiences into vivid portrayals and critiques of high society, while deftly exposing the painful tension between personal desires and societal norms. Wharton died in Paris in 1937 at the age of 75, having written 85 short stories, 16 novels, 11 works of nonfiction, and 3 books of poetry. Laura Ciolkowski is Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Adjunct Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her work on Victorian literature and culture has been published in numerous academic journals, including Studies in the Novel, Victorian Literature and Culture, Genders, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction.