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Schumacher Wins Thurber Prize for American Humor

Professor nationally recognized for best-selling novel Dear Committee Members
September 29, 2015

On Monday, September 28, in New York, Professor of English Julie Schumacher won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for her 2014 comic novel Dear Committee Members (Doubleday). She is the first woman to be so honored since the award was established in 1996.

Schumacher was announced as the winner at the New York comedy club Carolines on Broadway. The other two finalists were Roz Chast for Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and Annabelle Gurwitch for I See You Made an Effort. Schumacher receives $5,000 and a crystal plaque.

Named for the late humorist and cartoonist James Thurber, the prize honors outstanding achievement in humor writing: Jon Stewart, David Sedaris, Christopher Buckley, and Calvin Trillin are among past winners.

Dear Committee Members marked a return to adult fiction for Professor Schumacher, who published five novels for young adult and middle grade readers between 2004 and 2012. Her third, The Book of One Hundred Truths, won a 2007 Minnesota Book Award. Schumacher's first novel, The Body Is Water (1995), was a finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award.