Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A volume of recommendations …

… An Academic Novel With a Twist — The Chronicle Review — The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A new novel, Dear Committee Members (Doubleday), by Julie Schumacher, a professor of creative writing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, puts this dimension of professorial life in the foreground. Its twist on the genre is to tell the story entirely through a year’s worth of recommendation letters (67 in all) by Jason Fitger, a creative-writing professor at the fictional Payne University, a middling research university in the Midwest. He writes letters on behalf of students applying for scholarships, for law or other graduate programs, and especially for jobs, high and low, on and off the campus. He occasionally writes recommendations for faculty members or administrators looking for tenure or other jobs. He also writes to his literary agent on behalf of students and friends.

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