Hannah Pittard, "We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind of]" (Henry Holt, 2023)


What happens when you come of age in mid-life? Why is so challenging to figure out your own past? Can you find the permission to be weird? (And can you be happy if you don’t?) Memoirist and English professor Hannah Pittard joins us to explore:

  • If the personal is ever too personal.
  • What is a collective memory.
  • The imperfect way we perceive our own experiences.
  • Taking risks in writing and in life.
  • The memoir We Are Too Many.

Today’s book is: We Are Too Many, a memoir about a marriage-ending affair between award-winning author Hannah Pittard’s husband and her best friend. An innovative and genre-bending look at a marriage and friendship gone wrong, Professor Pittard recalls a decade’s worth of conversations that are fast-paced, intimate, and reveal the vulnerabilities inherent in any friendship or marriage. She takes stock not only of her own past and future but also of the larger, more universal experiences they connect with—from the depths of female rage to the ways we outgrow certain people. We Are Too Many examines the unfiltered parts of the female experience, as well as the possibilities in starting life over after a catastrophe.

Our guest is: Professor Hannah Pittard, who is the author Visible Empire, Reunion, Listen to Me, The Fates Will Find Their Way, and the memoir We Are Too Many. She is a professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is a historian.

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Welcome to The Academic Life! Join us here each week to learn from today’s experts inside and outside the academy, and embrace the broad definition of what it truly means to live an academic life.

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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