Eileen Pollack

Johanna Lawshea

Eileen Pollack is the author of the novels Breaking and Entering, a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, and Paradise, New York, as well as two collections of short fiction, a book of nonfiction, and two creative nonfiction textbooks. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays and Best American Short Stories. She is a professor at the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. Her latest book is The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club (Beacon Press). In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences, Pollack set out to find the answer. Based on six years interviewing her former teachers and classmates, as well as dozens of other women who had dropped out before completing their degrees in science or found their careers less rewarding than they had hoped. The Only Woman in the Room shows us the struggles women in the sciences have been hesitant to admit, and provides hope for changing attitudes and behaviors in ways that could bring far more women into fields in which they remain seriously underrepresented.