'Dear Committee Members' is called one of the best and funniest novels of the year

'Committee' is being named to some best-of-the-year lists and is being praised for its humor and format, which consists of recommendation letters written by an English professor for various students, co-workers, and others. 

'Dear Committee Members' is by Julie Schumacher.

Looking for a biting satire for the end of the year? Look no further than Julie Schumacher’s novel “Dear Committee Members.”

“Committee,” which was first released this past August, consists of recommendation letters written by writing professor Jason Fitger for various students, co-workers, and others. Through the letters, the reader learns about his attitude towards the administration at his college as well as his personal problems involving his wife and disappointment with himself.

The book received many good reviews upon release and is now being named to some best-of-the-year lists. NPR critic Maureen Corrigan called “Committee” one of the best books of 2014 and wrote of it, “A mordant minor masterpiece…. The gem of a law school recommendation letter professor Jason Fitger writes for a cutthroat undergrad whom he's known for all of ‘eleven minutes’ is alone worth the price of Schumacher's book…. ‘Dear Committee Members’ serves up the traditional satisfactions of classic academic farces like David Lodge's ‘Small World’ and Kingsley Amis' immortal ‘Lucky Jim,’ but it also updates the genre to include newer forms of indignity within the halls of academe.” 

The industry newsletter Shelf Awareness also named “Committee” as one of its picks for the best of the year, with Bruce Jacobs, founding partner of Wichita’s Watermark Books & Café, contributing a review. 

“In this clever send-up of academic logrolling, Julie Schumacher has written one of the funniest (and most poignant) books of the year,” Jacobs wrote.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Dear Committee Members' is called one of the best and funniest novels of the year
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today