"No aspect of the scholastic woman's life lies outside the scope of this crusty doyenne."—Publishers Weekly
"Never has there been such a forthright collection of wisdom and wit."—St. Louis Post-DispatchIn question-and-answer form, Ms. Mentor advises academic women about issues they daren't discuss openly, such as: How does one really clamber onto the tenure track when the job market is so nasty, brutish, and small? Is there such a thing as the perfectly marketable dissertation topic? How does a meek young woman become a tiger of an authority figure in the classroom-and get stupendous teaching evaluations? How does one cope with sexual harassment, grandiosity, and bizarre behavior from entrenched colleagues?
"Toth . . . is the first and foremost agony aunt of American feminist academics. . . . Her very funny and pithy book deals with graduate school, the job hunt, the conference scene, the first year on the job, the 'perils and pleasures' of teaching, 'slouching towards tenure,' and 'muddles and puzzles,' including what to wear to an interview, which discipline has the sexiest men, collegiality, sexual harassment, networking, social faux pas, and why bozos get tenure. A staunch feminist, Ms Mentor knows how to smile and deliver a witty retort instead of a lecture on sexism. Undazzled by the trappings of academic success, she regularly reminds her correspondents that they can find happy and successful careers elsewhere. But she has also come to terms with the realities of working in a profession. . . . Ms Mentor is a more liberating and energizing voice than the subdued, self-questioning wisdom of the autobiographical."—Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement
"A genuine contribution to understanding how the professions of academe function (or don't) and how to negotiate successfully a career path in research and teaching."—Annette Kolodny, University of Arizona
"Everyone who's ever been in academe knows that it's a jungle out there, not a grove; Toth's book is a machete sharp enough to hack a path through the undergrowth."—New Orleans Times-Picayune
Ms. Mentor's readers will find answers to the secret queries they were afraid to ask anyone else. They'll discover what it really takes to get tenure; what to wear to academic occasions; when to snicker, when to hide, what to eat, and when to sue. They'll find out how to get firmly planted in the rich red earth of tenure. They'll learn why lunch is the most important meal of the day.
Ms. Mentor receives all her mail via Emily Toth, Professor of English and Women's Studies, at Louisiana State University.