The Shakespeare Requirement

The Shakespeare Requirement

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize-winning Dear Committee Members . Once more into the breach... Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the English Department of Payne University, takes arms against a sea of troubles, personal and institutional. His ex-wife is sleeping with the dean who must approve whatever modest initiatives he undertakes. The fearsome department secretary Fran clearly runs the show (when not taking in rescue parrots and dogs) and holds plenty of secrets she's not sharing. The lavishly funded Econ Department keeps siphoning off English's meager resources and has taken aim at its remaining office space. And Fitger's attempt to get a mossbacked and antediluvian Shakespeare scholar to retire backfires spectacularly when the press concludes that the Bard is being kicked to the curricular curb. Lord, what fools these mortals be! Julie Schumacher proves the point and makes the most of it in this delicious romp of satire
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385542340
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 20 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 28, 2019

While I recognize that "big money" is trying to take over everything of meaning in our country, including college and pro sports, and while a flashy econ department at the expense of the humanities seems somewhat logical in this atmosphere, I had to drag myself through this novel and finally put it on the "return" pile, unfinished. I like my sense of humor, but it couldn't rise to laugh at some of these pathetic characters. I have Julie's first novel and enjoyed it. But this one doesn't ring true to me. Jeanne L.

Nicr Mar 17, 2019

Academic satire featuring the underfunded English department of a middling university from which the Shakespeare requirement has been rescinded due to "irrelevance." A quick and funny read, provided you can laugh in the face of the all-too-true situation.

Feb 12, 2019

A fitting sequel to "Dear Committee Members," with most of the same characters (though not in the same epistolary format). Its portrait of a college humanities department in decline is unfortunately very timely, but funny nonetheless.

Dec 03, 2018

Funny with funny characters taken past the norms. The author describes one as weird at Payne (the university) but would be classified as unhinged anywhere else.

Oct 12, 2018

As an member of our 'venerable' academic community I found much to like about this satire of life in the professoriate. Schumacher's portrait of oddball characters, delusions of grandeur, petty power plays, sadly and hilariously rings true. But the story itself just doesn't come together, and the book is more akin to SNL, which isn't a horrible thing, but also not worthy of getting notice in the NYT book review as a 'notable new book.' Hey, don't get me wrong, this was a relaxing read, and I laughed out loud many times. But I do the same when I happen across reruns of Seinfeld. And, for the record, spoiler alert, Schumacher confesses to her reader in her acknowledgement section that her original manuscript was rejected by her editor, who forced her to start over, which, she tells us, was a good idea. Really? A better idea would have been to do some heavy editing and rewriting to make this set of jokes into a genuine novel.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top