Medill alumna chronicles New York love life in debut memoir


(Source: Carla Roley)

Mandy Stadtmiller. Stadtmiller’s memoir “Unwifeable,” published earlier this month, chronicles her love life in New York.

Crystal Wall, Reporter

It’s a tale told time and time again: a single woman in New York on the hunt for love. Mandy Stadtmiller (Medill ’97) offers her own version of this narrative in her debut memoir, “Unwifeable,” which documents the ups and downs of her love life in the Big Apple.

Published April 3, the book chronicles nearly a decade of Stadtmiller’s dating experiences in New York — from failed hookups and blackout nights to eventually finding her “Mr. Right.”

Stadtmiller said the book’s inspiration sprung from her time as a columnist for New York Magazine’s The Cut, where she published a weekly column of the same name. The column, she said, was a way to “test the waters” to see if she enjoyed publicly sharing details about her love life.

Her work garnered positive responses from readers, Stadtmiller said, and she retained the rights to the “Unwifeable” title, hoping to eventually publish a full-length memoir.

“Ultimately, the feedback I got was that other people resonated,” Stadtmiller said. “That’s what I try to do if I’m writing about relationships: touch upon something highly specific in my own experience that other people can relate to and potentially apply to their own lives.”

Before she was a published author, Stadtmiller was a “solid, dogged” reporter, said Katherine Pushkar, Stadtmiller’s former editor at the New York Post.

During an interview, Pushkar recalled, Stadtmiller once asked a bartender detailed questions about the process of making a Manhattan. Pushkar said while she found this attention to detail funny, she was grateful Stadtmiller’s thorough reporting ensured she never missed information.

Pushkar described Stadtmiller as both fearless and sensitive, adding that Stadtmiller isn’t afraid to be vulnerable in her work.

“She is a sensitive person, which is why she is able to get the stories she gets,” Pushkar said. “I think she’s very affected by all of her experiences.”

Stadtmiller said her training as a journalist served her well in writing the memoir, as she strived to remain truthful and genuine in all of her writing.

Even though she no longer had the threat of the “Medill F” hanging over her, Stadtmiller said she remained cautious to maintain validity and avoid stretching the truth.

“It’s more of trying to integrate a lot of different identities into one authentic one where you reconcile a lot of your demons,” she said.

Former Medill Prof. Pam Cytrynbaum — whom Stadtmiller called one of her most influential professors — said Stadtmiller was more articulate and self-aware than most young adults during her time at NU. Stadtmiller never shied away from talking about “taboo” topics like sex, drugs, intimacy and relationships, she said.

For Cytrynbaum, it is Stadtmiller’s devotion — both to the truth and to herself — that will keep readers engaged in heartbreaking and thrilling moments in the memoir. Cytrynbaum said while she’s glad Stadtmiller is happily married, it is her authentically narrated journey to love that is most compelling.

“She remained who she is and figured that out and struggled and suffered and pushed through and came out the other end,” Cytrynbaum said. “Isn’t that what we all want?”

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