2015 Thurber Prize for American Humor
Julie Schumacher at home on her enclosed porch.
Julie Schumacher

Professor, English and Creative Writing

Anyone who regularly reads letters of recommendation knows how prone they are to creating a mind-numbing monotony. But in the hands of English professor Julie Schumacher, letters from a single disaffected creative writing professor turn into a novel that nips at the absurdities of academic life while revealing the sorry state of their fictional author’s career as a novelist—and a lover.

Probably the first novel composed solely of letters of recommendation, Schumacher’s “Dear Committee Members” flows from the poison pen of Jason “Jay” Fitger, who wields it to hilarious effect as he tilts at administrators, former colleagues, and anyone else who rouses his ire. The book is a New York Times bestseller and won the 2015 Thurber Prize for American Humor. It’s also a ripping good read.

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