What are readers saying?
"You are a genius with dialogue. It reads like a play, in a way -- quick scenes, zippy back & forth between characters. Loved it!"
"Smart and painful, with characters so real and authentic. It hurt to read but I couldn't put it down and just when I couldn't handle more, MP's humour poked through and made me laugh out loud. The dialogue is spot on, it could be a play. Loved it."
"I LOVE LOVE LOVED this book. It brought me back to the memories of grad school and although times were intense this book reinforced the camaraderie that existed between my mates and I as we delved through it. I actually couldn't put it down and read it coincident with being at conference with a gaggle of graduate students across disciplines which made the read even better. The book made me long to go back to GRAD school and I am damn near enrolled ..."
The themes are timely. On 23 June 2014, in a segment called "The Hidden Academics", Steve Paikin and a panel discussed the trials and tribulations of PhDs trying to make a living teaching as 'sessional instructors' while chasing the dream of full-time employment on Paikin's current affairs show, The Agenda (http://theagenda.tvo.org/episode/204804/post-secondary-ontario)
On 31 March 2014, The Atlantic published an article titled, "What Can You Do with a Humanities PhD Anyway?" (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/what-can-you-do-with-a-humanities-phd-anyway/359927/#comments).
On 27 January 2014, CBC's The Current (click on bold type to get the link to the podcast) did a feature on the challenges faced by many young academics who spent years getting their PhDs only to wind up making dismally low wages and are dealing with unstable employment.
Set in Toronto, Oxford, London, Manchester and Boston, A Degree of Futility is the story of three friends, Lily, Simon and Greg, as they finish their history PhDs at the turn of the millennium and enter the toughest job market ever. There are ups – independence, travel, and Oxford postdocs – and downs – no job security, even less money, and putting lives on hold. Will sacrificing relationships, family, established careers, and even sex in their quest for academic careers prove to be worth it ten years later?
The novel is available via Friesen Press (www.friesenpress.com). Trade paperbacks are also available through Amazon, Chapters, and Barnes and Noble. eBooks are available at Google Play/Android Store, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kindle Store, Chapters/Indigo and Apple iTunes Bookstore.