The New Yorker profiles philosopher and letter writer Felicia Nimue Ackerman

“Felicia Nimue Ackerman—“Felicia Nimue is a double first name like Mary Jane, and I’m called the whole thing”—is a short-story writer and a philosophy professor at Brown, and she excels at crafting arguments concisely. Since 1987, the Times has printed more than two hundred of her letters, which is either a record or close to one. Tom Feyer, the letters editor, doesn’t keep count, but he named Ackerman as a top contender for first place. “Some days she sends several letters, each in response to a different article,” he said. “Although I don’t know her personally, I have a good sense of how she thinks.” In 2006, IvyGate, a gossip blog covering the Ivy League, published a post under the headline “New N.Y. Times Policy Requires All Letters to Be From Single Brown Professor.” The following year, Gawker wrote a post about one of Ackerman’s letters (“Ivy Professor: Sundaes Are Yummy!,” and a commenter wrote, “I used to edit the letters column for one of the pull-out sections in the Times, and we had a rule against running too many Felicia Ackermans…. One woman wrote us one time asking if her chances of having her letter published would be significantly improved if she signed her letter Felicia Ackerman.””

 

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2 thoughts on “The New Yorker profiles philosopher and letter writer Felicia Nimue Ackerman

  1. What’s with all the description of what she is wearing and her relationship to food?

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