Dear Committee Members

Dear Committee Members

Book - 2014 | First edition
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"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 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 ... In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this ... novel uses to tell that tale is a series of ... 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"
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385538138
Characteristics: 180 pages ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

If you’re looking for something light and comic, try this epistolary novel about a professor of the humanities struggling against what he sees as the encroaching forces of corporatization and commercialization in his university. For such a short book, it’s surprisingly moving--and also so fu... Read More »

A story told through a series of letters of recommendation by a somewhat irascible professor of English. It's both a laugh out loud book that might also bring tears of sadness to your eyes (at least it did for me).

multcolib_karene May 10, 2015

A surprising novel comprised of letters of recommendation written by a somewhat snarky English professor. It's a wonderfully funny and ultimately poignant book that totally captures academia.

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Sep 03, 2020

Lots of fun to read. The humour is witty and snarky (in a good way). These letters will bring a smile.

Feb 09, 2020

Funny! Enjoyed this very much though the repeat pattern of the letters slowed my reading down. I could take in only so many acerbic missives in one sitting. You learn the main character's life through the back and forth and as the years pass, not everything turns out so well for him. But he's got a resilient optimism that makes him keep trying, regardless. "Dear Committee Members" is one witty and well-written book. I look forward to reading more by this author; I've got some catching up to do.

Sep 11, 2019

My kind of humor. Hilarious! Loved the Shakespeare book, too. Keep 'em coming, Julia.

Aug 28, 2019

funny, npr

Jul 14, 2019

Fun, funny, forgettable.

Jan 04, 2019

Enjoyed this book although I had to get used to the different format of telling a story. All done through letters. Still a good and funny story.

Jan 02, 2019

A delightful riposte of mundane academia in the form of letters, mostly Letters of Recommendation. I LOL'd at some of the ROL's. Underlying these one sided letters is a bittersweet tale of unrequited love and some tragedy. I am eagerly awaiting the next set of letters.

PimaLib_ChristineR Oct 10, 2018

3.5 ⭐ - The only reason I didn't rate this book more highly is because I think it has a very specific audience. If you've ever worked in academia in the liberal arts, this book will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you nod your head with every painful page. An epistolary novel, Dear Committee Members follows a series of letters written by Jason Fitzger, self-described "Professor/Agitator/Slum Dweller." Being a part of this very specific audience brought back memories, memories of being in an office that hadn't been refurbished since WWII, while the floor above us allowed us to occasionally bask in the meager warmth that filtered through the floor from their carpeted and and tastefully decorated offices.

However, as I dug deeper into the story, these letters to various exes, friends, publishers and the ever present "committee members" revealed not only a man determined to stand up for a department considered superfluous, but also slowly reveals the story of Fitzger himself and his cause: finding funding and a roof for his graduate student Darren Browles. These parts of the story are pieced together slowly but have a more universal appeal. Let he who has not hit "Reply All" on accident inflict the first paper cut. And in the end it becomes a very human story of failure and resiliency. It is not a long read, and so if you are looking for something to while away an afternoon, you could do much worse than Dear Committee Members.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 17, 2018

Super fun one-sided epistolary novel told entirely in academic letters of recommendation. Laugh out loud funny. Probably even funnier to those who work in academia...I’m looking at you SOU faculty!

Jun 07, 2018

Funny and ascerbic.

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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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