Emily Mester is from the Midwest. She learned to read by sounding out the signs in a strip mall parking lot in the Chicago suburbs. She grew up in that Chicago suburb, then attended high school at a boarding school in New Hampshire, then returned to Iowa for college (Grinnell) and graduate school (University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program).
At the University of Iowa, her work was selected for the Prairie Lights Nonfiction Prize by Jo Ann Beard. Her writing has been published in Buzzfeed Reader, and she has been featured in Pacific Standard, Longreads, and recommended by Anne Helen Petersen in her newsletter.
Emily’s day job is at the College Board, where she writes SAT passages and questions. She lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend.
She is the author of the forthcoming AMERICAN BULK, a loosely connected essay collection into a narrative critique that examines not just consumer culture, but family, mental illness, and the complicated question of what to do with the things we inherit. AMERICAN BULK will be published by W. W. Norton in 2023.