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.