Heather Havrilesky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Havrilesky in 2016

Heather Havrilesky (born 1970[1][2]) is an American author, essayist, and humorist. She writes the advice column "Ask Polly" for New York magazine. She is the author of Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir (Riverhead, 2010), the advice book How to Be a Person in the World (Doubleday, 2016) and the essay collection What If This Were Enough? (Doubleday, 2018).

Early work[edit]

In 1996, Havrilesky was hired as a staff writer at Suck.com, a webzine that was one of the web's earliest ad-supported content sites. Together with artist Terry Colon, she wrote the popular "Filler" comic strip for the site under the pen name Polly Esther.[3][4] In May 2001, she began writing an advice column on Suck, but the site went under a month later.[5]

Havrilesky began writing for Salon in 2003 as their TV critic.[6]

In 2011, Havrilesky became one of the original columnists for The Daily, the world's first iPad-only news app.[7] Havrilesky exited that position soon after the app launched,[8] and the site was shuttered by its parent News Corporation in December 2012.

Ask Polly[edit]

In 2001, Havrilesky started an advice column on her personal blog called Dear Rabbit.[9] She pitched an advice column called Ask Polly to The Awl in 2012, which ran as a weekly feature.[10] New York magazine began publishing the column in 2014.[11][12] Each column addresses a single letter requesting advice.[12]


Havrilesky wrote her first book, Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir in 2010.[13] An autobiographical work, it dealt mostly with her upbringing in Durham, North Carolina.[14]

Her second book, How to Be a Person in the World, was released in July 2016. The book was made up of new Ask Polly advice columns along with a handful of her most popular previously published columns.[15]

Her third book, the essay collection What If This Were Enough? was released in 2018.[16] Erin Keane of Salon.com summarised the book as follows:

Havrilesky peels back the layers of late-capitalism malaise that bind us to the promise of some better version of ourselves lurking just beyond our reach, and dares us instead to accept our current, flawed lives, suffering and all, in order to settle into a less anxious and resentful present.[16]


  1. ^ Havrilesky, Heather (2013). "Awaiting Renewal". aeon.co. Aeon. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ "The Pied Piper of Feminism".
  3. ^ Braiker, Brian (2015-11-06). "Gen Xers rejoice: Suck.com comes back as a daily newsletter". Digiday. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  4. ^ "Maria Bamford, Writers Galore, MATES and More: The Week In Podcasts". Nerdist. 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  5. ^ "It's Never Been Harder to Be Young". NYMag.com. 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  6. ^ Zack Smith (2016-07-06). "Heather Havrilesky, a Former Durhamite Turned New York Advice Columnist, Comes Home to Fix Your Life". IndyWeek. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  7. ^ Miranda Popkey (2011-01-18). "Heather Havrilesky on 'Disaster Preparedness'". Paris Review. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  8. ^ Michael Calderone (2011-05-27). "The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad Paper, Loses Another Staffer". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. ^ Heather Havrilesky (2001-10-24). "9:58 AM". Rabbit Blog. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  10. ^ Heather Havrilesky (2014-08-20). "Polly Asks: New York Magazine Wants Me to Write Ask Polly For Them. Should I Tell Them to Piss Off?". The Awl. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. ^ Alana Massey (2016-07-14). "Ask Polly's Heather Havrilesky: 'I feel connected to the people who write to me'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  12. ^ a b Lyz Lens (July 25, 2016). "HOW TO BE A PERSON IN THE WORLD BY HEATHER HAVRILESKY". The Rumpus. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  13. ^ Neil Genzlinger (2011-01-28). "The Problem With Memoirs". NY Times. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  14. ^ Dan Zigmond (2011-02-06). "'Disaster Preparedness,' by Heather Havrilesky". SF Gate. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  15. ^ Leah Greenblatt (2016-07-16). "How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  16. ^ a b Keane, Erin (October 2, 2018). "Heather Havrilesky asks a radical, essential question: "What If This Were Enough?"". Salon.com.

External links[edit]