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Dear Committee Members (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


A novel written in the form of letters of recommendation? Sounds like a literary stunt, but Schumacher absolutely nails it. While maintaining her formal conceit she perfectly blends satire and real human emotion, offering a sharp (and hilarious) commentary on modern academia through one professor's tired pen and fading sanity. If you've ever needed a letter of recommendation or written one, you'll laugh and you'll cry. I unreservedly recommend Ms. Schumacher for your reading pleasure.

— Rico

This book sounded really interesting, but I wasn't sure how it would work in action - the entire story is told through a year's worth of letters of recommendation. Fear not, the premise works perfectly, making this a unique, funny tale. Professor Fitger is a prickly creature who injects his personal life into his letters, creating a sense of both his cantankerous character and the struggling English department he inhabits. I was constantly amused by this little book, and am quite impressed with its originality and style.

— Flannery

Description


A Best Book of the Year: NPR and Boston Globe

Finally a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary."

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

About the Author


Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her other books include a short story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and five books for younger readers. She lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota. Visit her on the web at julieschumacher.com.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780345807335
ISBN-10: 0345807332
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015
Pages: 192
Language: English

 

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