Author Photo

I grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. After boarding school, I studied English and philosophy at Vassar College and later earned a masters degree in journalism from Boston University. I’ve lived in many different places, including Scotland and Brooklyn, and worked as a book review editor for a number of years.

I adore libraries, abandoned buildings, grammar jokes, late nights and early mornings, the smell of hay, living out of a suitcase, and the feel of dusty old books.

Proust Questionnaire

“The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.”

Vanity Fair

Who are your favorite writers?

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Roald Dahl. Donna Tartt, Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, Nancy Willard, Paul Kane (poetry), Charles Wright (poetry), Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Adam Smith (YA), Julie Berry (YA), Nick Lake (YA), Dave Eggers, and Maurice Sendak.

Which talent would you most like to have?

In my next life, I’d like to come back as a professional ballerina, so the talent I’d most like to have is to dance, ballet specifically.

What is the quality you most like in a person?


What is your most marked characteristic?

My quirky speech patterns. I am a language magpie, if I like a word or phrase—whether it’s Spanish, French, Latin, or Swahili—it becomes part of my repertoire alongside nonsense phrases my siblings and I came up with and lines from novels that I just can’t shake.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


What is your most treasured possession?

My journals. I’ve been keeping one since I was 12.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Even in Paradise and Be Good Be Real Be Crazy.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Don’t threaten me with a good time.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Early morning. A cup of coffee. An absolutely still lake.


Publisher’s Weekly: Fall 2014 Flying Start

Chelsey Philpot had many inspirations for Even in Paradise (Harper, Oct.), which tells the story of Charlotte Ryder, a girl changed irrevocably by the beguiling Julia Buchanan and her family.

SLJTeen Chats with Chelsey Philpot

I first met Chelsey Philpot when she joined the staff of School Library Journal as an assistant book reviews editor. Beside penning her debut novel, Even in Paradise (HarperCollins, 2014), she writes about books, culture, travel, and the arts for the Boston Globe, The New York TimesBuzzFeed, and many other publications.

New Hampshire Public Radio

This week, The Bookshelf features young adult novelist Chelsey Philpot. Part road trip, part love story, part exploration of one’s purpose in life, the novel, Be Good Be Real Be Crazy, takes us from Florida to New Hampshire and puts its young protagonists face to face with people from a world much different from the world they grew up in.

Express Yourself Teen Radio

Author of Even in Paradise, Chelsey Philpot, captures the intensity, the thrill, and the heartbreak of our too-brief friendships and loves in her stunning debut novel that is a cross of The Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska.