Mar 4, 2022 • 1HR 0M

But what if my old boss is pissed? Episode 305: Workplace Memoir with Cate Doty

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Y’all, it’s an uber-informative, down in the trenches episode about writing memoir when it feels like your topic is on the lighter side—but of course, no truly successful memoir ever stays on the surface. Cate Doty is the author of Mergers and Acquisitions: Or, Everything I Know About Love I Learned on the Wedding Pages. She is a writer and former editor at The New York Times, where she covered the news of food, weddings, business, New York, and more.

To write Mergers and Acquisitions, Cate had to look at what was in some ways an obvious story—I fell in love at the NYT while working on the Wedding pages!—to the real story of growing up in an iconic newsroom and learning about what makes relationships get as far as the wedding pages—and then get past that one day. She had to find ways to dig into her past, and to write about real people she still loves and respects (and a few she doesn’t). And she had to accept that writing about the NYT probably means you’re not working there again.

And then she had to answer all my questions about it! You’re going to love it.

Links from the pod:

Jenny 8. Lee’s memoir The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

The little church around the corner



Kaye Gibbons: Ellen Foster, A Cure for Dreams, Charms for an Easy Life

Having and Being Had, Eula Biss

Learning in Public, Courtney E. Martin


Arsenic and Adobo, Mia P. Manansala

Other books we mentioned:

To Tell You the Truth, Gilly MacMillan

Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School

Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie / The Sunday Philosophy Club books

Find out more about Cate: and follow her on Instagram: @CateDoty

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