Jenny Ruth writes literary fiction & nonfiction, book reviews for lit mags, and fun freelance pieces for local lifestyle magazines. She is currently working on two manuscripts: a nonfiction work titled, “White And Working On It,” and her first novel, tentatively titled “Merit-Based.”
“White And Working On It” layers memoir and storytelling over a foundation of white identity development theory.
“Merit-Based”- Lauryn Trumble is a young admissions officer at her prestigious alma mater. Daily interactions with eager students, desperate parents and unpredictable co-workers causes her to care too much, drink too much and smoke too often. She begrudgingly becomes roommates with the new hire, Margarita “Margie” Mercado, who she initiates into the arena of hyper-competitive admissions at one of the country’s most selective small liberal arts colleges. Then she starts an affair with a married professor.
Margie must wrestle with office politics and the educational system’s use of identity–two systems that value many things above merit. Struggling to understand her place as a young Latina in this privileged world, Margie concentrates on her weight, her heritage, and building a solid career path she can control.
Backdropped by the 2008 presidential campaign and collapse of the financial system, Lauryn and Margarita battle a boss obsessed with application numbers and acceptance rates, the campus Republican club’s plan to host a year-long series of ultra-conservative pundits speaking about race in modern America, and the annual onslaught of over-involved parents who plague the millennial generation. They each react in their own ways, and the consequences give them reason to take control of their lives.