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Maybe It's Me: On Being the Wrong Kind of Woman

Eileen Pollack

November 1, 2022

In her new essay collection, Maybe It’s Me: On Being the Wrong Kind of Woman (Delphinium Books 2022), Eileen Pollack covers her life in snippets or by delving into history, but the overall picture is of an extremely talented writer, a brilliant woman with a degree in physics and a long list of respected publications who is still somewhat bewildered to find herself alone. She tells stories about her childhood home, her grandparents, her father the dentist, her mother’s closets, her ex-husband who thought his work took precedence, her son who turned into a socialist, and assorted neighbors, friends, and men who drifted through her life. In her distinctive voice, she sometimes slips humor into the most horrendous situations, maybe because that’s how she survived. This is an author who dissects her thoughts, words, and actions without worrying about having a big bow to tie it all together.

Eileen Pollack is a writer whose novel Breaking and Entering, about the deep divisions between blue and red America, was named a 2012 New York Times Editor’s Choice selection. Her essay, “Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?” was published in the Sunday, October 6, 2013, issue of The New York Times Magazine and went viral; the essay is an excerpt from her investigative memoir The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still A Boys’ Club, published in 2015 by Beacon Press. A native of the Catskill Mountains, Eileen also is the author of the novels The Bible of Dirty Jokes and Paradise, New York, as well as two collections of short fiction, In the Mouth and The Rabbi in the Attic. Her innovative work of creative nonfiction called Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull was made into a major motion picture starring Jessica Chastain, Sam Rockwell, and Michael Greyeyes. A long-time faculty member and former director of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, she now lives in Boston and offers her services as a freelance editor and writing coach. When she isn’t reading, writing, or teaching, Eileen loves to play tennis.

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