Tag Archives: writing

I’m Baaaaaaaaack

My Munro article is in the can, y’all, and here are the things Imonna do now:

  • Read the fourth Neapolitan novel
  • Write a long think piece about my mixed feelings about Hillary Cl– oh wait Rebecca Traister locked it down already
  • Negotiate at least three cease fires
  • Clean out my car
    • which farts trash every time I open its door
  • Purchase and assemble a standing desk so I can finally be vaguely smug like the toe shoe people
  • Resist calculating the hourly rate of my contract to write an Alice Munro article for a lump sum, thus maturely strolling past the rabbit hole of post-academic rage about labor equity social value of humanities knowledge should I really have quit academia etc etc without even a cursory glance back into said hole wait too late daaaaaaaaaaaaaang
  • Relish having weekends back again again
  • Acknowledge getting paid in love, still, in my current child health policy gig too, is better than getting paid in hate but still not as good as getting paid in adequate dollars
  • Drink beer
  • Read all the reviews of Purity so I can maintain my opinion of Franzen without having to read more than the New Yorker excerpt through which I couldn’t hack the slog
  • Drink wine
    • Cuz Wine is Fine
  • Blog more again
    • For reals
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Post-Academic Life Part 357

You know how sometimes you can’t tell whether a story or TV show or film is either sexist or critiquing sexism?

If you’re getting that sense of ambivalently non-feminist slime dripping into your eyes, even if it’s in the New Yorker (“Thirteen Wives”) you can just stop reading it.


You don’t have to keep reading just to see if it ever gets to the critique. Or, like, try to see what the hell it’s doing in the New Yorker in the first place. 

Blink that slime away and move on with your life.


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I Feel Like Madonna

Friends! I am officially a validated, credentialed post-academic blogger.

Y’all may not know this, since as far as I know, most of my regular readers are inexplicably not members of my elite club of overeducated, underemployed people using their PhDs recreationally instead of professionally, but the post-academic blogger is a popular blogger.

You know that 70% of PhDs who cannot find stable, secure, living-wage employment? That 70% of your children’s college instructors who do not have their own office to decorate with Quentin Tarantino posters and flyers for the next ecofeminist lecture series and photos of the dog?

Well, they need some solace about their sorry lot. And they find it online. My own post straightforwardly addressing leaving academia remains one of my most poplar. But I gots nothing on people with URLs that include variants of “leaving” and “academia.”

A few of the awesomest post-ac/alt-ac bloggers (glossary: simply, alt-ac is PhDs with campus or combo staff/research gigs and un-simply it’s complex, while post-ac, cest moi, a PhD whose degree helps her professionally inasmuch as it provides her coworkers with light ribbing material) are putting together an e-book tentatively titled Moving On: Personal Stories of Leaving Academia.

On a lark, I crafted an abstract, and, friends, it was accepted.

My personal story of leaving academia will be made chillingly, revealingly, hilariously public.

I haven’t been this happy about external validation since my essay about Infinite Jest was accepted to one of the fancy-pantsiest journals, where it sits patiently in archives for 3 DFW PhD candidates a year to read and disagree with.

And this is better.

So my light blogging may be even lighter as I use my precious few free weekend hours to write this essay over the next few weeks. And in May, I’ll be trumpeting this e-book like it’ll solve the Middle East. All of it. Which, you never know, maybe it will.

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The Riddle of Alice Munro

One riddle: as I sit down to write this review of her latest, Dear Life, why do I keep toggling back to read about Lena Dunham?!?!?!?

Why oh why?!

Another riddle: why is she so cryptic in this interview?

Ms. Munro, whom everyone nearly beatifies but no one puts on any glossy lit magazine covers, do you consider yourself a feminist writer?

I never think about being a feminist writer, but of course I wouldn’t know. I don’t see things all put together in that way. I do think it’s plenty hard to be a man. Think if I’d had to support a family, in those early years of failure?

MUNRO, JUST USE THE DAMN WORD. It won’t hurt anyone.

You write about the women’s movement changing culture. You write about women after it, and before it. Women who needed it and didn’t have it. Women who came up short against it, or who benefited from it and still lost some of themselves anyway.

Damn enigmatic genius

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All the Memoir Ladies

True confession: I have no opinion one way or another about memoir. I have liked some and forgotten others.

But for a time, memoir was literature’s for-profit college. Its orphan home for the can’t-quite and never-will.

The worn-down casino where the addicts, the terminally ill, and the refugees from strict religion go to gamble their pain into royalties.

The genre where women can get published.

But these politics of memoir were subtext, at most, in Sarah Hepola’s recent essay on xoJane it-girl Cat Marnell. Cat Marnell spectacularly gives beauty advice couched in writing about drugs, addiction, and pain. And she recently quit to get high and write a book.


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