Friday, December 19, 2014

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Over the course of a year, Professor of Creative Writing, Jay Fitger, is asked to write numerous Letters of Recommendation for students and fellow faculty members. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher is an acerbically funny novel told exclusively through these letters. Being a creative writing professor, Fitger can write skillfully and passionately about the qualities and accomplishments of his students and former students, whether they are applying for scholarships, fellowships, internships, or jobs as nannies, grocery clerks or RV park attendants. Conversely, he can also use his writing skills to cleverly damn, with faint praise, fellow, undeserving (in his mind) faculty members seeking promotions or new positions. Disgruntled with the modern world, he inevitably strays off point in these letters to complain about the state of higher education, the lack of respect for the English Department (as compared to the Economics Department), remodeling projects on campus, the difficulty of using modern technology and the unhappy state of his private life. Although he appears to be a relentless curmudgeon, Professor Fitger is actually a man who simply cares too much. As one colleague explained: “Fitger behaves like more of an ass than he actually is.”

Check out Dear Committee Members @ the library!