Photo of Dana Schwartz

by Ash Ma ’21

On October 29 and 30, Dana Schwartz, the author of three books, a journalist at the New York Observer, and a renowned podcaster, visited and connected with the Macalester community. Schwartz has written on subjects ranging from book and theater reviews to political issues. Because of her wide spectrum of interests, readers can explore her multifaceted writing style — you could find humor in her sharp review of Game of Thrones and be surprised by her fresh and insightful opinions on Trump’s campaigning. What makes her more relatable to readers are her witty accounts of her own life mixed with reflections on the technological advances that have affected our generation, like in her Tinder “user’s report.” During her talk on October 29 titled “Millennial Failure,” she offered a sincere suggestion to the audience: “Social networks are great tools that give us opportunities to put our work out in the world. The most empowering thing I find is to be vulnerable online because people want to connect with people. They want to respond to authentic feelings.” Her talk was very profound and left us with valuable takeaways — be a failure at first, then be really good at your work, finally there come the good things. Let’s get to know her work more!

Cover of And We're OffSchwartz’s books surround hope, memory, romance, and family. Her first work, And We’re Off, was one of the 10 best YA books of 2017 according to Vulture. The New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner praised the novel, calling it “a winsome, hilarious tale about losing the map and finding a better way to a happy ending.”

Cover of Choose Your Own Disaster

Her second book, Choose Your Own Disaster, tells the story of a woman and her professional, romantic, and sexual misadventures from an autobiographical perspective. The book is highly appreciated by her fans, who find it both funny and emotionally affecting through her comic voice. You should definitely check it out if you are someone who enjoys reading about dating exploits! Schwartz makes readers feel less alone in those irritating moments when relationships don’t work out. The book teaches you how to navigate feelings. So read it and re-read it. Laugh with it and cry with it. You won’t regret a single second.

Cover of The White Man's GuideExcited for her third piece? Inspired Schwartz’s parody Twitter account @GuyInYourMFA, The White Man’s Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon is coming out in November. It is narrated by a once-in-a-generation voice, and acts as a handbook for the wannabe literary elite and those who laugh at them. I, personally, can’t wait to read her book.

In addition, she created and hosts the podcast Noble Blood, trending on iHeartRadio, which focuses on stories from the lives of historical royals. Go click on that link and enjoy her voice!

You can visit her online at or on Twitter (@DanaSchwartzzz.)