Dear Committee Members

Dear Committee Members

Book - 2014
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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.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780345807335
Characteristics: 180 pages ; 20 cm


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Jun 07, 2018

Funny and ascerbic.

Oct 23, 2017

A beautiful and funny little tale told entirely in letters - specifically letters of recommendation (lukewarm and passive-agressive) written by a burned-out English professor. His love life is a shambles, his Department is a sinking ship, his career is stalled, and his personality comes out in every tiny word choice or political jab. Oh, and he corrects everyone's grammar, of course. Fitger is a loveable curmudgeon, and feel for the poor denizens of Payne University.

Jun 23, 2016

Clever and funny. Great dry humor

May 18, 2016

There's a bitterly perceptive humour here, but in the end I was tired of the narrator's complaining and his conviction that he knew best.

JCLKariE Apr 23, 2016

Dear Committee Members is smart, snarky, and often laugh-out-loud funny. Cantankerous and eye-rolling inducing Jay Fitger has written over 1,300 letters of recommendation during his career as Professor of Creative Writing and English at Payne University. This novel is written in letter of recommendation format, making for an interesting read because of the way you must piece the story together from Jay’s perspective. This novel could easily lose steam because of the format. However, Schumacher finds the right balance between humor, insight, and weaving an engaging, intelligent story about modern university life.

Feb 09, 2016

I loved this book after avoiding it because I was told it was a novel made up entirely of a professor's letters of recommendation. So glad I gave it a try. Beautifully written, even if I didn't understand many of the academic-esoteric words. That was half the fun! Speaking of which, I laughed out loud more times than I could remember. An enjoyable "just before lights out" read.

Jan 15, 2016

Loved it! Laugh-out-loud funny!

Dec 10, 2015

It was as a good reminder that academia sucks! I had good laughs, and its an easy read.
The writer of the letters is a male, but his voice sounded like a female (that could be just me, and I apologize for that opinion). Also there were unrealistic moments in order to be funny. I was hoping more for deadpan humor or anti-humor instead of snarkiness. But again, I enjoyed the book.

jennrose Jul 30, 2015

If you love Confederacy of Dunces, you will find this book absolutely delightful . Prof. Jason Fitger is a well spoken curmudgeon and incredibly hilarious. A true comedic gem!!!

JCLHelenH Jun 30, 2015

Schumacher puts a delightful twist on the epistolary novel.

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May 18, 2016

Allow Malinda the privilege of laboring in your office for nothing (she’ll probably continue to work nights as a barista in the coffee empire), and I am confident you will be making, though perhaps not in the ways you might have intended, a remarkable contribution to her education.

May 18, 2016

Fortunate girl: to behold her ambitions still winking before her like stars.


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