Sherill Tippins is the author of two critically-acclaimed histories of New York City. The first, February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Paul and Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers, and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Wartime America (February, 2005), tells the story of an unlikely experiment in cohabitation by some of the 1940s' most exciting young artists in the months before America's entry into the Second World War. February House was awarded the LAMBDA Literary Award for biography in 2006. In 2012, it was adapted as a musical for the stage by the composer Gabriel Kahane and playwright Seth Bockley, and presented by the New York Public Theater.
Ms. Tippins's next book, Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel (December, 2013), explored the utopian origins and tumultuous 130-year history of the largest and longest-lived artists' community in the world. Praised as "the textbook [of]...Chelsea Hotel-iana" by the New York Times and as "smashingly entertaining" by Slate.com, Inside the Dream Palace was awarded the $10,000 Marfield Prize, National Prize for Arts Writing,
Ms. Tippins has lectured at The 92nd Street Y, The New York Public Library, The Museum of the City of New York, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The National Arts Club, The Washington Arts Club, The Santa Fe Opera, The Dartington, U.K., International Summer School, and at numerous libraries, schools, and Big Read events across the United States, among other venues, and has appeared in documentaries and programs on the BBC, NPR, WNYC, and elsewhere.
She has received support for her work from the Yaddo Corporation, the Carey Institute for Global Good, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in partnership with the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
Ms. Tippins is currently at work on The First Two Hundred, the story of the first generation of Europeans and Africans to occupy Manhattan. The book is scheduled to be published simultaneously in the U.S. (by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and the Netherlands (by Querido) in 2019.
Ms. Tippins lives in New York City with her husband, the literary agent Bob Mecoy, and writes in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains.