Pamela Haag's work spans a wide and unusual spectrum, from academic scholarship to memoir. As the author of Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules (Harper), Haag uncovers realities of the troubled institution of marriage in the post-romantic age, articulating for a generation that grew up believing they would have it all why they have ended up in wistfully ambivalent marriages, and what they can learn from marriage at the frontlines, where it is being reinvented in some startling ways. Using autobiographical detail and cultural history, eavesdropping and anecdotes, Haag's book dissects the sources of this discontent in everything from our marriage expectations, our habits, and our decisions about career and work, childrearing, and sex. Consistently focusing on women's history, feminism, and American culture, Haag has spoken at events such as The National Council for Research on Women and the Feminist Expo in Baltimore. Her speaking events are ideal for conferences or lectures centered on education, gender equality, and women's and girls' issues.
Haag has also written on topics as eclectic as the effort to rebuild the lower Manhattan subway lines after 9/11, 24-hour sports radio talk shows, and class mobility. Since 2004, she has been publishing personal and opinion essays in a variety of venues, including NPR, American Scholar, The Christian Science Monitor, Ms. magazine, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Michigan Quarterly Review, New Haven Review, The Antioch Review, and carte blanche.
Haag became the Director of Research for the AAUW Educational Foundation, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for girls and women. In that capacity she wrote and edited several pieces of research and was the media spokesperson for the research. In 2002, Haag became a speechwriter on issues of public transit and transit-oriented development for the secretary of the Federal Transit Administration and, occasionally, the Secretary of Transportation.
Haag earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1995, after graduating with Highest Honors from Swarthmore College. She's held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, as well as post-doctoral fellowships at both Brown and Rutgers University. As an academic, she published scholarly articles and her first book, based on dissertation work, with Cornell University Press in 1999. Haag earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 2008, where she won the Chris White award for best essay, and was also a prizewinner in The Atlantic's 2008 national nonfiction contest.
Praise for Marriage Confidential:
"A startlingly honest and surprisingly funny account of marital discontent, including (on occasion) the author's own. Avoiding comfortable bromides and rejecting the usual clichés, Haag reports on how married people really live these days -- and guess what? It's not all bad news! This is one of the few books around with something new to say about the travails of modern love and coupledom."
-- Laura Kipnis, author of Against Love: A Polemic and How to Become a Scandal
"In this brilliant book Pamela Haag explores the silent but dangerous discontents of the 'semi-happy marriage.' Marriage Confidential is both laugh-out-loud funny and gasp-out-loud shocking, and nothing less than a Feminine Mystique for our time. Mark my words, your marriage will change after reading this book."
-- Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
"In this timely and thought-provoking analysis of modern coupledom, Pamela Haag paints a vivid tableau of the 'semi-happy' couple. Written with wit and aplomb, this page turner will instigate an insurrection against our marital complacency."
-- Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity