Dear Committee Members (KINDLE)
Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies kHose only wish was to go on with their education something I support from the bottom of my heart Why do I not use the chance to digress from the topic just like the less than lovable writer in the novel Why do I not at least say something about how the misery of that fictional academic institution made me laugh hysterically because I recognised EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM the construction site the funding the colleagues administration and students not to mention the personal issues I must have something to say about all of thatYes dear Author I do But you have brilliantly made a case for the absolute absurdity of letters of recommendation and since you completely convinced me with your deeply sarcastic yet incredibly true story told entirely in the form of frustrated and ridiculously funny and honest LORs I decided to act on your implicit advice and NOT WRITE A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATIONHaving said that sometimes they work despite their idiocy for I read this book on recommendation from a fellow Goodreader and I had a perfectly blissful timePlease accept my honest apology for not recommending this to whoever has ever set foot in an academic andor pedagogical institutionDisrespectfullyThe Delighted Reader Ahhhh my favorite pit of despair AcademiaThis fit the 2017 PopSugar reading challenge A Book of Letters just perfectly I wanted a book only told through letters No narration no forward no nothing And Dear Committee Members followed that to the letter haThis story is told through a series of increasingly passive aggressive and personal letters from Jason Fitger a creative writing professor at Payne University Ha PayneHe becomes increasingly frustrated by funding school politics an ever increasing demand for letters of recommendation etc and he vents every last feeling through his letters I aspire to be as petty as himEndearing and charming Jason maintains his stance as one of the last defenders of the written word He carves out his territory and manages toeep the ever present slog of the digital world world at bay though I was surprised by how much emotion that ending hit me with Punch in the gut Audiobook Comments Well read Good characterization and tone throughout the passive aggressive lettersYouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading I join readers before me who recommend Professor Fitger s endless letters of recommendations Funny clever book Signing off with the usual commitment to righteousness and justiceJay Fitger Winner s Circle American Letter of Recommendation Society PS I assume it was someone s idea of a joke to insert in the minutes from last week s budget meeting the idea of me serving as associate chair Given your three year mandate to turn English around I presume that if you need assistance uelling the rabble you d search for some hapless junior faculty member who lacked the clout to refuse As for me I am probably the least likely associate chair you could find No one would listen to me I seldom listen to myself Ms Nan A TaleseDoubleday Publishing1745 BroadwayNew York NY 10019Dear Ms TaleseI saw online that you were the contact person for Doubleday Publishing and that manuscripts must be submitted by agents because you do not accept unsolicited manuscriptsWell rela Dear Fellow ReadersI am pleased to endorse to you the short little epistolary novel ReadersI am pleased to endorse to you the short little epistolary novel Committee Members This book will most likely be hilarious if you are familiar with the onuses and whims of bureaucratic academia as the narrator Mr Jason Fitger is one of the few tenured members of the English Department in a small midwestern college However it would also be enjoyable for people who enjoy acerbic wit Undoubtedly whatever your persuasion you will find this work a uick diverting readMr Fitger is often hilarious in his carefully worded but politically insensate language For instance in describing the English Department to the new department chair he notes a third of the staff are ineligible for the position and the remaining two thirds of the faculty bearing the scars of disenfranchisement and long term abuse are busy tending to personal grudges like scraps of carrion on which they gnaw in the gloom of their officesThe remarkable thing about Mr Fitger of course is the strange double think he operates under In one letter for instance he reuests his literary agent take a look at the initial chapters of #a protege s book A few sentences later he apologizes then adds Well never mind Water under the bridge and all #protege s book A few sentences later he apologizes then adds Well never mind Water under the bridge and all I m sure the twelve year old you assigned the task of evaluating my work did her utmost He is what you get when you remove impulse control from a highly articulate writerIf you will permit me a minor digression I recently had a conversation with a notable person shall we say a student of the mind who suggested that as individuals we tell ourselves stories about what others around us are thinking These stories often
or reaffirm our own world view rather than true curiosity of another experience So if I would note that Jason seems somewhat disenfranchised from his own life and somewhat socially inept am I just reaffirming a preferred story However there was a point two thirds through the book when I realized the narrator was a bit of an ass It s not my preferred way of interpreting the world but how else can you explain a recommendation letter for a colleague applying for an associate dean position in which he answers the uestion Context of My Acuaintanceship by saying Carole and I slept together without cohabiting or making promises we would be unable to honor for almost three years That said the end seemed a bit forced in the direction of a mostly happy ending consisting as it did of a significant amount of personal growth Personally I remain disbelieving but I suppose all things are possible However as I found the overall story clever and engaging I would not hesitate to recommend Dear Committee MembersIn solidarity for reading amusementcarolPS Emma Deplores GR Censorship nails the actual analysis of the book here. S 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 term. Of course there is a serious commentary on the state of academic affairs here especially of English and Creative Writing Departments but this book was extremely funny and I loved it I don t mean to diminish the serious underlying message but I laughed out loud Jay Fitger Professor of Creative Writing and English at Payne University seems to spend a good part of his day writing letters of recommendation for students and former students for jobs graduate school or literary residence programs The letters are scathingly sarcastic and eually hilarious This book is comprised of these lettersStudents that he taught and students that he doesn t even now ask him to recommend them for child care IT and catering jobs and a host of other jobs totally unrelated to their English degrees These are also very telling letters and we learn a bit about Fitger s personal life as well since the director of a literary residence program is one of his exes His other ex works in admissions at the law school and he sometimes recommends students to these programs So we get to now a little about his past relationships and also his less than lustrous literary career He d come across as a pathetic character if not for his intelligent humor and the impression that deep down he s really a good guyAlso amusing are the letters he writes for colleagues aspiring to other jobs or being nominated for committee assignments Not only do we find out what he really thinks of these colleagues but we get the sense of the low status of the English department in his comments about the poor conditions such the leaky pipes in the men s room and not filling multiple vacant positions Then in recommending a colleague for another job one at a Bible college he goes so far as to tell how he slept with her for three yearsI won t go on because I don t want to spoil it any than I have for anyone who reads this I would recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining read with some substance beneath the funny lines and I suspect that anyone who is or was part of academia will love this book It s a short book and a uick read because you will find yourself going to the next letter as soon as you finish the one you ve just readThanks to Harper Collins and NetGalley Anyone who has spent time in academia will get a chuckle out of this book It s a collection of letters from a disgruntled English professor at a small college Most of the missives are Letters of Recommendation for students but there are also emails and memos to colleagues The novel written by a woman who is a writing professor at the University of Minnesota smartly touches on a lot of the current problems in higher education including its overreliance on part time instructors instead of full time faculty members the defunding of humanities programs and the emphasis on science and tech and the rising cost of a college degree which forces students to take out and greater loans which they have trouble paying back because of the poor job market It s a heaping mess of ARGHI ve worked at a college for than five years and parts of this novel made me laugh so hard I started crying It s a dark comedy to be sure and there are some sad and frustrating elements to the story But it s A Fast And Mostly Fun fast and mostly fun and I heartily recommend itFavorite uotesAs a student #Of Literature And Creative Writing #literature and creative writing Newcome honed crucial traits that will be of use to you imagination patience resourcefulness and empathy The reading and writing of fiction both reuires and instills empathy the insertion of oneself into the life of anotherIf every member of the human race evinced a fondness for literature and even a moderate level of dexterity with the written word I would be a happier if not well adjusted manI am always taken aback when students confide in me that beneath their desire to write lies a uest for permanence It s odd but touching I think that even during this disposable age while consigning great mountains of refuse to landfills and to atolls of plastic in the Pacific these young would be novelists and poets believe that art is eternal Au contraire we are in the business of ephemera the era of floating islands of trash and most of the things we feel deeply and inscribe on the page will disappearAs for me the closest I have come to exaltation has been here at the university with a book in my hand Literature has served me faithfully no pun intended as an ersatz religion and I would wager that the pursuit of the ineffable via aesthetics in various forms has saved as many foundering souls as a belief in god Dear Goodreads friendI am writing to highly recommend that you read Dear Committee Members especially if you have a propensity to enjoy sardonic academic satires written in the form of LORs letters of reference written by a cantankerous professor of English literature who has a tendency to irk many colleagues and former spouses has an endless supply of pet peeves but nevertheless cares for a handful of his talented students and colleagues and has many valid albeit overwrought observations to make about the decline of academia in general and the humanities in particular Jay Fitger is the fictional English professor in uestion and his story is told entirely through some of his LORs which he numbers at approximately 1300 at this point in his career and which he claims detract him from his ability to do his real writing The LORs are rarely on point almost never flattering to the subject of the letter and are often complaints about his department and university the state of academia the world in general and his pitiful love life in no particular order of importance And of course not surprisingly in the best tradition of some academic writing Professor Fitger s language is delightfully simultaneously circuitous and precise if that makes any sense In closing dear Goodreads friend I highly recommend this book if you need an at times laugh out loud comic interlu this is an like epistolary version of Lucky Jim in which a jovial but pompous and generally unli. Finally a novel that puts the pissed back into epistolaryJason 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 sualid uarters while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remode.
represent or reaffirm our own world view rather than true curiosity of another
Julie Schumacher ✓ 1 READKeable blowhard of an english professor bloviates and alienates his way through a series of letters of recommendation straying from the task at hand to insert his own unrelated gripes and personal attacks destroying bridges he has already burned while somehow admirably also providing a narrative arcit s just a little wisp of a novel but anyone who has spent any time at all in the halls of academia will recognize and giggle at the frustrations and hoop jumping plaguing professor fitger poor beleaguered dinosaur of the creative writinglit department he like many of us bemoans the constant paperwork reuired of his position overwhelmed by the number of letters of recommendation he is asked to write freuently for students he has not even taught or met he also suffers from the increasing marginalization of his department professors shoehorned into smaller and smaller uarters while simultaneously being forced to take on responsibilities leadership positions filled by people outside the department or otherwise unualified euipment breaking down and not being repaired and the constant din of construction being done on the economics department which shares a building with the english department but seem to get all the perks presumably because their future alum will go on to lucrative careers with money to nostalgically donate to their former school in the beneficence of their glory days nostalgia during my undergrad days at NYU it was clear that those chumps in the stern business school had way perks than the poor old stodgy college of arts and sciences i guess to better prepare them for lives of privilege and schwag while we shivered in our dickensian poorly heated rooms with industrial gray walls and smeared windows ah memoriesprof fitger is also incensed by modernity and the increasing reliance onexpectations of the technological world whose cold automation displeases him particularly since his department s IT staff are condescending when they can even be foundhis personal life is also in a shambles he has left a trail of scorned women in his wake women who are in powerful professional positions from whom he needs to beg favors despite their messy histories which they are not yet ready to forgive add to that the firework trajectory of his writing career one giant first novel burst of success followed by fizzle after fizzle and you can see how he has turned into such a bitter man using these letters to vent about his various personal and professional slights and enacting petty revenges as he veers into freuently funny asides and anecdotes but while he is generally frustrated with the number of LORs he has to write he has also taken a shine to one student in particular on whose behalf he writes many genuine letters trying to get him entree into funded programs and the attention of his own former editor finding himself in the unenviable position of beseeching those he has himself pissed off in the past who are unwilling to receive his reuests favorablyit s short and funny and also a little sad but anyone who The Power Of A Choice knows this world will find themselves nodding along even if they themselves have never been a cranky old professorcome to my blog This is a very funny and also a very smart look at the contemporary world of academia as seen through the endless numbers of letters of recommendation written by Jason T Fitger a professor of Creative Writing and English at the fictional Payne University which is located somewhere in the Midwest Like so many other disciplines in the Humanities Fitger s English department appears to be under siege Its budget has been slashed full time tenured faculty are being forced out in favor of part time non tenured wage slaves the graduate program is in decline the physical facilities are falling apart and the administration apparently couldn t care less To add insult to injury a sociologist a sociologist has just been installed as head of the English department and while the department can t even afford a working copy machine the university is spending a fortune to renovate the floors above the English department creating veritable Taj Mahal in which to house the damned Economics departmentPoor Fitger s personal life is about as troubled as his professional life He s divorced his once promising writing career has tanked and like an academic Rodney Dangerfield he seems to get no respect from anyone But the guy writes brilliant letters of recommendation theind that many professors would love to write if only they had the wits and the guts to do So Through The Letters Through the letters pours out his commentary on the state of affairs academic and personal and those who have spent any time at all laboring in the academic vineyards will sadly nod their heads in agreement that is when they re not laughing out loudJulie Schumacher has conceived of a great idea for a novel and has carried it off very well This is perhaps the best novel set in academia since Richard Russo s brilliant Straight Man It s a great read Dear Author It is with deeply felt regret that I have to tell you that I can t recommend your book to the wider Goodreads community despite the fact that I really liked it It even made me laugh out loud
many times serving as a perfect digression from some heavy reading that I had to digest this weekendtimes serving as a perfect digression from some heavy reading that I had to digest this weekend you might rightly ask dear Author will I then not do you the favour to write something nice about it Something about the hilarious idea to reinvent the epistolary genre with a funny collection of letters of recommendation Why not admit that I had the time of my life imagining that I would dare to write exactly what I think instead of those idiotic nonsense sentences that look good but tell you nothing about the real person I am recommending Why not mention that I spent an hour reflecting on my dilemma when I had to write letters for fifteen adolescents all applying to the same schools What to do Write the same over and over again and nullify the effect of every single letter Be honest and maybe destroy the chances of some students Led 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 thi.