Courtney Maum: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Courtney Maum

Humor Columnist and Acclaimed Author of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

Courtney Maum originally wrote I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, her critically acclaimed debut novel about infidelity and forgiveness, in 2004 when she was unmarried and living in Paris. After an initial book deal fell through, the manuscript was rejected by eighteen editors and shelved until 2013, when a new agent convinced Maum that she should give the book a second chance. Married for eight years by that time and newly pregnant, Maum put everything she had learned about both life and writing into the novel’s rewrite, ultimately turning out a novel about marriage that was richer and more compassionate for being married herself.

Maum, who majored in Comparative Literature at Brown University and who doesn’t have an MFA, learned a lot about perseverance in the ten years between her novel’s writing and its publication. Her decision to work in branding and marketing after college rather than pursue an MFA left her feeling shut out from a literary world she very much wanted to be a part of. In 2011, when her filmmaker husband was on a three-month long shoot in Afghanistan, she left their home in rural Western Massachusetts to work at a creative agency in New York four days a week. She vowed that for every night she was in New York, she would attend one reading series and introduce herself to one person there. She followed through on her promise, and in little time, Maum had built herself a literary community and was accepting invitations to perform at the very readings she’d been attending, earning a reputation for her unexpected satire which was as dark as it was funny. Emboldened by her success behind the mike, she started working with literary magazine editors on two humor columns she still pens to this day: the “Celebrity Book Review” series on Electric Literature, where she impersonates different celebrities reviewing newly released books, and a satirical advice column at Tin House where she doles out, among other guidance, “How not to hate your friends.”

With an eclectic, bicultural background filled with outlandish jobs (Maum worked as a party promoter for Corona Extra in Paris, which required her, among other things, to drive around in a Coronamobile for three years), whether she is speaking to aspiring young writers or retirees, she consistently delivers a life affirming message about the payoff from setting and working towards your goals, as well as what it takes to maintain balance online and off. Courageous, funny, and searingly honest, Maum is an inspiration to create your own best life.

Courtney Maum’s debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, was an Indie Next selection, Library Reads, Amazon best of the Month, and Apple iTunes pick for June 2014, and hailed as one of summer’s best reads by such publications as Vogue, O Mag, People Magazine, Vanity Fair, and many others. In addition to penning humor columns for Electric Literature and Tin House she also co-writes screenplays with her husband, the French director, Diego Ongaro. In 2009, their short film "Rice and Meat" won the Audi Talent Award at the Cannes Film Festival and their feature length screenplay about a logger, "Bob and the Trees" is currently making the film festival rounds in the US and abroad. In 2013, Maum’s short story "Metronome" was a finalist for the Guernica/Dzanc Books International Literary Award. In 2012, her fiction won The Cupboard prize (judged by Maud Casey), Hobart Magazine's "Bison Prize" (judged by Adam Novy), a Folio fiction finalist award (judged by Alan Heathcock), and her story, "Clarins" was voted a Million Writers Notable Short Story of the year. A frequent contributor to The Rumpus and the author of the chapbook, “Notes from Mexico,” from The Cupboard Press, Maum splits her time between the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Paris.

Interested in booking Courtney Maum to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

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  • An American in Paris: Living, working, and thriving abroad
  • The debut novelist experience: The ups and downs of publishing your first book
  • The dark and light: Incorporating humor into literary fiction

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