Anne Trubek in Notes from a Small Press, on her abandoned career in academia:
Eighteen years later, at a department meeting, she told me I had always been difficult. I had started off that way. Remember, she said, I demanded an office with a window as a condition of accepting the job, forcing her into the storage closet. Nothing had been said about this in the intervening years—during which another colleague had moved to an office out of the suite, because the dysfunction amongst the four of us was so high she could not bear it.
As someone who myself spent years dreaming of becoming an academic—and didn’t—but did marry one—this whole piece captures so well the romance and claustrophobia and insane competition of that world. The best evocation of it I’ve encountered since the vivid (and weirdly similar) Vladimir by Julia May Jonas.