Last month I took a humor writing workshop through the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Now, I could go on at great length here about the significance of this. My first humor writing workshop. Mr. Carswell telling me in 10th grade that something I'd written was Thurberesque. Visiting Thurber House in 2014. Liking the idea of Thurber more than liking his work. Yes, I could go on about all that, but...
Oh, wait. I just did.
Okay, what I really am interested in talking about now is the reading list provided by my workshop instructor, Janine Annett. It was two pages. I was so excited when I got it. Love me a reading list.
It included four humorous novels, one of them being Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. It's written in letters, and at first I thought it was going to be one of those novels in letters back and forth between a couple of characters, which I really don't care for. But, no, these were all letters of recommendation from one college professor who is slowly (not too slowly) revealed to us. There is a story arc for him and at least one of his students. And it's all very entertaining.
But that's not why we're here, folks! We're here because when I looked up Julie Schumacher, I discovered that she wrote a book called The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls. A YA book I liked a lot back in 2012. Really, I thought it was a "marvelous, mainstream novel..." Evidently I'd had it with paranormal YA at that point.
I believe I've often been disappointed when I've read the work of an author who has written for both adult and YA audiences. But that most definitely wasn't the case here. I'm going to read some of Schumacher's other work, because I often worry that someone will ask me the name of a favorite author. And, of course, I don't have one. But Schumacher could end up qualifying.
Now, to tightly tie my Schumacher reading experience back to the workshop I took--Dear Committee Member was on Janine Annett's, the workshop leader's, reading list. Additionally, it won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2015. She was the first woman to win the award.