Short Version:

Meghan Daum is the author of a new collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, due out from FSG November 18, 2014. She is also the author of the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Since 2005, she has been an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times, covering cultural and political topics. Meghan has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Vogue.


Long Version:

Meghan Daum has been a columnist on the op-ed page of The Los Angeles Times since 2005. She is the author of three books, most recently Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a personal chronicle of real estate addiction and obsessive fascination with houses. Other books include the novel The Quality of Life Report and the essay collection My Misspent Youth. She has contributed to public radio's Morning Edition, Marketplace and This American Life and has written for numerous publications, including The New YorkerHarper's, GQElleVogueNew YorkTravel & LeisureBlackBookHarper's BazaarThe Village Voice, and The New York Times Book Review.

Her next book, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, is a series of never-before-published essays exploring the theme of sentimentality in American life. The essays, some dark and some comedic, discuss such topics as death, dogs, children, "honorary lesbianism," the tedium of foodie culture, the definition of "romance" and much more. The book will be published by FSG in November of 2014. 

Equal parts reporter, storyteller, and satirist, Meghan has inspired controversy over a range of topics, including social politics, class warfare and the semiotics of shag carpet. She has been widely praised in the press and elicits particular enthusiasm from internet commenters, some of whom have called her everything from a "rad genius" to an "intolerant hack" and "ugly squashed bug." This is a phenomenon Meghan has explored here and elsewhere.

Meghan's work is included in dozens of college textbooks and anthologies, including The KGB Bar ReaderBookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly TimesSex and SensibilityHowl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit and The New Gilded Age: The New Yorker Looks at the Culture of Affluence among many others. She frequently gives lectures and readings at colleges around the country and has taught in the MFA writing division at  Columbia University's School of the Arts as well as at the California Institute for the Arts and the Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference.

Born in California in 1970, Meghan was raised primarily on the east coast and is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA writing program at Columbia University's School of the Arts. She spent several years in New York City before making her now-infamous move to Nebraska in 1999, where she continued to work as an essayist and journalist and wrote The Quality of Life Report. A resident of Los Angeles for more than a decade now, Meghan has hosted and moderated numerous interviews and panels for public event series such as Zócalo Public Square, the LA Public Library's ALOUD program, and Live Talks L.A.

Meghan was a 2013 mentor for PEN USA's Emerging Voices Program. She also volunteers as a foster child advocate for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Los Angeles County.

photo by Alan Zarembo