Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumaker

I picked this up while at the library to get something I'd put on hold.  It's an amusing little gem if you've ever dealt with bureaucracy in your job.  The main character is a college English professor who is asked to write recommendation letters for students and colleagues. At the same time, his department is being underfunded and ignored in favor of technology and engineering disciplines.  He parries with the head of the college, admission personnel, and fellow professors to get a promising student a grant to finish writing a book with sharp wit and elegant writing.  It's a story with a message cleverly packaged in letters.

I sometimes participate in Wondrous Words Wednesday over atBermuda Onion, where we blog about new words in our reading.  A couple of ones I'd noted in this book are:

ouroboros - an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. I think the author misused the word by repeating its meaning.

"The pace he ran on was astounding, an ouroboros devouring its own tail."

portmanteau  - a large trunk or suitcase, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts.

"The battered portmanteau in what he liked to keep his writing....:

Published:  2014  Read: February 2014  Genre: Fiction


  1. I'm not sure I like the sound of the ouroboros, a dragon eating its tail, yuk! I like portmanteau and would love one to stow bits and pieces.

  2. I've seen ouroboros but never knew what they were called.

  3. I came across portmanteau in an read, last year I think. I cannot remember which book, but I did remember that is was a trunk or suitcase. Eew! on the other word. I need to look up how to pronounce it, but hopefully will never have to use it.


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