Best Read of the Week: Sabrina Orah Mark on fairy tales, in PARIS REVIEW

I read dozens of articles online every week, for work and for fun. In this regular column, I share the article I’ve enjoyed most during the past seven days and a few words on why.

She has applied for hundreds of professorships over the years. In February, as a plague enters the land, she endures a three-day interview for a post she does not get, during which several deans request of her seemingly impossible tasks.

In “Fuck the Bread. The Bread is Over,” Sabrina Orah Mark weaves an academic job search, life during pandemic and fairy tale templates—three days, three tasks, three treasures, etc—into a tale of trials of her own.

“Fairy tales are riddled with tasks like these,” she writes. “Some contenders cheat, and some were never worthy, and some take the dreary, barren road, and some take the smooth, shady one, and some are helped by birds, and some are helped by giants, and some by witches, and some by luck.

“I call my mother.”

This essay is irreverent, wise, and as gorgeous as the grim tales it honors. If I were a dean, I would hire her.