FAIR WARNING: Julie Schumacher’s new novel, DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS(HarperCollinsUK,HarperPress/4thEstate/TheFriday Project) should come wrapped up with a warning: “Prepare to laugh hysterically.” It’s that funny – if you enjoy farce!
Professor Jason Fitger, a once promising novelist is stuck teaching in the Midwest at Payne University. The once thriving English Department is now overlooked as the Economics and Technology departments get all the bells and whistles. Construction crews scurry around, while Lit Profs are forced to deal with faulty wiring and old drafty windows. Fitger hasn’t published in six years and the majority of his time is consumed with composing letters of recommendation or LORs, as they’re known in academia. He writes them for colleagues, hoping to escape Payne, current and former students, it seems to have become the focus of his job.
DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS is a collection of these letters. We follow Fitger as he composes them, each a literary work on its own merit. At times the language becomes somewhat unhinged, screeching at the sharpest edges of sarcasm, but arriving in a quiet passive-aggressive crescendo so uniquely perfected in the Midwest.
This letter recommends Melanie deRueda for admission to the law school on the well-heeled side of this campus. I’ve known Ms. deRueda for eleven minutes, ten of which were spent in a fruitless attempt to explain to her that I write letters of recommendation only for students who have signed up for and completed one of my classes. This young woman is certainly tenacious, if that’s what you’re looking for. A transfer student, she appears to be suffering under the delusion that a recommendation from any random faculty member within our august institution will be the key to her application’s success.
Julie Schumacher is able to combine just the right amount of comedy, social criticism and indignation turning out a well done farce. A lovely surprise in this publishing environment!
Thanks to http://www.netgalley.com and HarperCollinsUK,HarperPress/4thEstate/The Friday Project for a kindle copy for an honest review. Check out http://www.julieschumacher.com for all things Julie. Check out my blog at http://www.writeoncindy.wordpress.com
I’d be, well, I’d be not me if I didn’t say, I absolutely LOVE the porcupine on the cover. BRILLIANT!