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Recent Publication Information for Eileen Pollack


The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club


Eileen Pollack
Faculty Info


In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences, Eileen Pollack set out to find the answer. In the 1970s, Pollack had excelled as one of Yale’s first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics. But, isolated, lacking in confidence, and starved for encouragement, she abandoned her lifelong dream of becoming a theoretical physicist. Years later, she thought back on her experiences and wondered what had changed in the intervening decades, and what challenges remained. Based on six years of interviewing dozens of teachers and students and reviewing studies on gender bias, The Only Woman in the Room is an illuminating exploration of the cultural, social, psychological, and institutional barriers confronting women in the STEM disciplines. Pollack brings to light the struggles that women in the sciences are often hesitant to admit and provides hope that changing attitudes and behaviors can bring more women into fields in which they remain, to this day, seriously underrepresented.

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, an award-winning 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 on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Manhattan and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

All recent publications by Eileen Pollack

  • The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club
  • Creative Composition: Preliminary Edition
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Creative Nonfiction: A Guide to Form, Content, and Style, with Readings

All publications by Eileen Pollack

A Perfect Life (novel, Ecco Press, 2016); The Only Woman in the Room (nonfiction, Beacon Press, 2015); Creative Composition (textbook with Jeremiah Chamberlin and Natalie Bakopoulos, Cengage/2013); Breaking and Entering (novel, Four Way Books, 2012); Creative Nonfiction:  Form, Content, and Style (textbook, Cengage/Wadsworth, 2009); In the Mouth, Stories and Novellas (short fiction, Four Way Books, 2008); Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull (nonfiction, University of New Mexico Press, 2002); Paradise, New York (novel, Temple University Press, 1998); The Rabbi in the Attic and Other Stories (short fiction, Delphinium Books, 1991); Whisper Whisper Jesse: A Children's Book About AIDS (Advantage/Aurora, 1992); stories and essays in journals and anthologies such as Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Agni, Literary Review, Puschart Prize XVI and XX, God: Stories, The New Generation; Between Mothers and Sons, Birth: A Literary Anthology, the Writers Chronicle, Sojourner, The Boston Globe, Michigan Magazine, Kaleidoscope, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Jewish Forward, Life Magazine, etc.

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