Zibby Owen

Jul 14, 2022


A Conversation about Grad School, Loss, and Books

New Books Network 2022

purchase at bookshop.org

Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • Zibby Owen’s experience in grad school of losing her best friend.
  • What she did to regroup and find a way forward after failing a grad exam.
  • How the meaning she’s made of those experiences changed her.
  • Why books and writing are essential to her.
  • Why “overnight” success takes tenacity, adaptability, and a long time.
  • Her passion for publishing, podcasting, and reading.
  • The advice she would have given herself when she was embarking on her educational journeys.

Today’s book is: Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature by Zibby Owens.

Our guest is: Zibby Owens, who is an author, podcaster, publisher, CEO, and founder of Zibby Owens Media, a privately-held media company designed to help busy people live their best lives by connecting to books and each other. Moms Don’t Have Time To is the home for Zibby’s podcasts, publications (including two anthologies), and communities. Zibby Books is a publishing home for fiction and memoir which she co-founded with Leigh Newman. Her award-winning podcast, Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, has been downloaded millions of times. She is a regular columnist for Good Morning America, Katie Couric Media, and Moms Don’t Have Time to Write on Medium. She is the author of Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature, and lives in New York with her husband and four children. Visit zibbyowens.com and follow her on Instagram @zibbyowens.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, co-producer of the Academic Life podcasts.

Listeners to this episode may also be interested in:

  • The Harbus article Zibby wrote about her conflicted feelings about finishing graduate school.
  • The Harbus article Zibby wrote about losing her friend Stacey: 
  • The Harbus article Zibby wrote about not going back to normal: 
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
  • Still Points North, by Leigh Newman
  • Academic Life Podcast: Being Well in Academia
  • Academic Life Podcast about failing a comp

You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. We reach across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Here on the Academic Life channel, we embrace a broad definition of what it means to be an academic and to lead an academic life. We view education as a transformative human endeavor and are inspired by today’s knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy. Wish we’d bring on an expert about something? DMs us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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