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Kate Phillips Edit Profile


Kate Phillips is an American writer. She is mostly known for her 1996 novel White Rabbit.


Kate Phillips was born on July 30, 1966 in Pomona, California, United States. She is the daughter of Richard and Joan Phillips.


Phillips attended Dartmouth College and become Bachelor of Arts there in 1988. She graduated from Harvard University in 1992 with Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. She obtained Doctor of Philosophy degree in History of American Civilization from Harvard five years later.


Phillips began her career at the Composition Center of Dartmouth College working there as a writing tutor during two years from 1986. Contemporaneously she served as a Instructor of English as a Second Language at the Rassias Foundation from 1987 to 1988.

At the beginning of her writing career, unlike many other young writers, Kate Phillips created a character decades older than herself in her highly praised debut novel, White Rabbit. Begun after a period of traveling and teaching in China—Phillips became an English teacher at Beijing Normal University in 1988, and held that position till the time of the tragic 1989 Tiananmen Square crack-down. White Rabbit is viewed by its Southern California-born author as part of a literary tradition composed of works by such writers as Joan Didion, Nathanael West, and John Steinbeck that, as Phillips noted, “explore the underside of the California dream.” Remarking that Phillips “saddles herself with an unpromising conceit,” Philadelphia Inquirer critic Mark Robinson praised her first novel’s stylistic abilities, commenting of White Rabbit, “It’s funny, touching, and represents a confident leap for a young, first-time novelist.”

In 1989 she was an assistant and interpreter for the ABC News in Beijing.

After the period of work in China, Phillips worked as an executive assistant at Irish Immigration Center, located in Boston from 1993 until 1996. During that period of time Phillips served at Harvard University as a teaching assistant, where she left until 1995. The next year she was an assistant teacher at the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference.

In addition, Phillips does lots of volunteering at her kids’ schools, ongoing, along with Literacy Tutor, Project Read, San Mateo Library.


Phillips married Michael Ross on October 19, 1997. The couple have 2 children - Samuel Ross and Jonathan Ross.

Rich Phillips

Joan Phillips

Michael Ross

Jonathan Ross Phillips

Samuel Ross Phillips