How Advice Columnist and Author Heather Havrilesky Writes: Part One

New York magazine’s “Ask Polly” advice columnist, Heather Havrilesky, stopped by The Writer Files to chat about her process and the many hats she has worn over her 20 year career as a critic, cartoonist, columnist, and essayist.


The author’s new book — How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life (available July, 2016) — is a collection inspired by her popular advice column.

Bestselling author and comedian Patton Oswalt said about the author, “…that rare writer who can dish out tangy snark but never fails to aim the knife back at her own damaged, hilarious heart …” and called the book, “Required reading.”

In addition to her Best Seller List column for Bookforum, Heather is the author of the memoir Disaster Preparedness, and was’s TV critic for seven years. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Awl, NPR’s All Things Considered, and several anthologies.

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