Dear Committee Members

Dear Committee MembersFinally 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. this is an like epistolary version of Lucky Jim, in which a jovial but pompous and generally unlikeable 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 arc.it 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 writing lit department he, like many of us, bemoans the constant paperwork required of his position overwhelmed by the number of letters of recommendation he is asked to write, frequently 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 quarters while simultaneously being forced to take on responsibilities, leadership positions filled by people outside the department or otherwise unqualified, equipment breaking down and not being repaired, and the constant din of construction being done on the
Dear Fellow Readers I am pleased to endorse to you the short little epistolary novel, Dear 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 quick, diverting read.Mr 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 offices The remarkable thing about Mr Fitger, of course, is the strange double think he operates under In one letter, for instance, he requests 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 that I m sure the twelve year old you assigned the task of evaluating my work did h
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 ha.This story is told through a series of increasingly passive aggressive and personal letters from Jason Fitger, a creative writing professor at Payne University Ha Payne He 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 him.Endearing and charming, Jason maintains his stance as one of the last defenders of the written word He carves out his territory and manages to keep the ever present slog of the d
Dear Goodreads friend,I 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 question, 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 recomm
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 ARGH.I 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
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 justice,Jay Fitger, Winner s Circle American Letter of Recommendation Society P.S I assume it was someone s idea of a joke to insert in the minu
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 weekend Why, 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 whose only wish was to go on with their education, something I
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 department.Poor 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, the kind that many professors would love
Ms Nan A TaleseDoubleday Publishing1745 BroadwayNew York, NY 10019Dear Ms Talese I 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 manuscripts.Well, relax Nan, that isn t why I am contacting you No, I have several other reasons I would like to tell you about I became aware of the book Dear Committee Members when several of my respected friends gave it good reviews on Goodreads I also liked the opening line that you all used in your description of the book Finally, a novel that puts the pissed back into epistolary Very clever It is a clever book Epistolary novels are tricky propositions and Julie Schumacher pulled it off She was able to do that because it is obvious that she is intimately acquainted with the academic world that she describes in the epistles that her protagonist, a professor of creative writing and literature, writes to well, to everybody but especially to the many administrators, who, by the way, outnumber the full time classroom teaching professors at his university That places his institution smack dab in the mainstream and I could feel his pain Some of the epistles made me laugh out loud and some of them made me cuss like a sailor, because they were so on target I spent many years as the chair of my department in the small college where I taught I
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 equally hilarious This book is comprised of these letters.Students that he taught and students that he doesn t even know 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 know a litt