Mallory Ortberg

Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Ortberg gesturing
Ortberg speaking in 2015
Born Mallory Ortberg
(1986-11-28) November 28, 1986 (age 31)
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Education Azusa Pacific
Period 21st century
Genre Satire
Short fiction
Notable works The Toast
Texts from Jane Eyre
The Merry Spinster
Relatives John Ortberg (father)

Daniel Mallory Ortberg[1] (born November 28, 1986)[2] is an American author and editor. Ortberg co-founded the website The Toast and has written the books Texts from Jane Eyre (2014) and The Merry Spinster (2018) as well as Slate's "Dear Prudence" advice column. Ortberg also hosts the Dear Prudence podcast.

Early life

Ortberg grew up in northern Illinois and then San Francisco,[3] one of three children of the evangelical Christian author and Menlo Church pastor John Ortberg and Nancy Ortberg, who is also a pastor and the CEO of Transforming the Bay with Christ.[4][5]

Ortberg attended Azusa Pacific University,[6] a private, evangelical Christian university in California.


Ortberg speaking about death in 2015.

Ortberg wrote for Gawker and The Hairpin, and met eventual Toast co-founder Nicole Cliffe through this work.[7][8] Cliffe and Ortberg launched the feminist general interest The Toast[9] and operated it together from July 2013 to July 2016.[4]

Ortberg was included in the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 list in the media category.[10] On November 9, 2015, Slate announced Ortberg would take over the magazine's "Dear Prudence" advice column from Emily Yoffe.[11]

In 2017, Ortberg launched a paid subscription email newsletter called the Shatner Chatner.[12][13]

Ortberg has cited Shirley Jackson, particularly We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan as writing influences.[14]


Texts from Jane Eyre

Ortberg's first book, Texts from Jane Eyre, was released in November 2014[15][16] and became a New York Times bestseller.[17] The book was based on a column Ortberg wrote first at The Hairpin, then continued at The Toast,[7] which imagines famous literary characters exchanging anachronistic text messages. The premise was inspired by a comments-section thread on a piece Cliffe had written for The Awl; on Cliffe's review of Gone With the Wind, a commenter wrote that their experience in the South was nearly identical to the novel "except everybody has cellphones", prompting Ortberg to imagine how Scarlett O'Hara might have used a cell phone.[18]

The Merry Spinster

Ortberg is also the author of the short story collection The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror (Henry Holt, 2018).[19][20] The book, Ortberg's second release, was highly anticipated, with Publishers Weekly, Bustle, The A.V. Club and InStyle Australia all naming it to lists of best forthcoming titles in 2018.[21][22][23][24]

The Merry Spinster reinvents archetypal fairy tales like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast; in the Los Angeles Times, Agatha French described Ortberg's renderings as making the "stories both weirder and yet somehow more familiar".[14]

Personal life

Ortberg identifies as queer and has mentioned dating women.[4] In February 2018, Ortberg spoke to Autostraddle about the process of transitioning genders while writing The Merry Spinster.[25] In March 2018, he was interviewed by Heather Havrilesky in New York magazine's The Cut about coming out as trans.[26]


  1. ^ @evilmallelis (March 12, 2018). "ok @CharoShane and I talked about breakfast and it was very exciting to 1. talk about breakfast and 2. bust out a sneak preview of the new name & shiny pronouns". Twitter. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ @evilmallelis (2017-11-28). "IT IS MY THIRTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY AND I AM HAPPY". Twitter. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ Ortberg, Mallory. "Have You Heard the One About the Religious Woman Who Stops Being Religious in College?". Gawker. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ a b c Scoles, Sarah (June 13, 2017). "Mallory Ortberg's Internet". Motherboard. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ Anugrah, Kumar (May 13, 2013). "Motherhood a 'Two-way Street' Former Willow Creek Pastor Shares". The Christian Post. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "The Art of Commerce: Episode XXX: 'I wouldn't want to reassure my past self. "Keep panicking".'". 0s&1s. September 29, 2015. Retrieved 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Galo, Sarah (November 3, 2014). "Mallory Ortberg: 'If men show up that's great, but we don't need them'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014. 
  8. ^ Kott, Lidia Jean. "Mallory Ortberg And Her (Small) Media Empire". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014. 
  9. ^ Lange, Maggie (October 30, 2014). "Mallory Ortberg on the Great Jerks of Literature". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ "2015 30 under 30: Media". Retrieved 2015. 
  11. ^ Turner, Julia (2015-11-09). "Meet Our New Dear Prudence Columnist". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ Guthrie Weissman, Cale (December 1, 2017). "The Toast's Mallory Ortberg Is Bringing Her Beloved Content Back-For A Price". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018. 
  13. ^ Benton, Joshua (December 1, 2017). "Stratechery, but for jokes about Frasier: Mallory Ortberg tries the paid newsletter route". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2018. 
  14. ^ a b French, Agatha (March 8, 2018). "Mallory Ortberg on the remixed fairy tales of her new book 'The Merry Spinster'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ Ulaby, Neda (November 10, 2014). "If Literature's Great Characters Could Text, They'd Charm Your Pantalets Off". NPR. Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ Busis, Hillary. "Breaking Big: Mallory Ortberg, author of 'Texts from Jane Eyre'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014. 
  17. ^ "Best Sellers, December 2014". New York Times. December 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  18. ^ Cohen, Rebecca (November 8, 2014). "If Scarlett O'Hara could sext". Mother Jones. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "Kirkus Star THE MERRY SPINSTER by Mallory Ortberg". Kirkus Reviews. November 28, 2017. Retrieved 2018. 
  20. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg. Holt, $17 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-250-11342-9". Publishers Weekly. November 20, 2017. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ "The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018". Publishers Weekly. January 23, 2018. Retrieved . 
  22. ^ Ragsdale, Melissa. "12 Books Every Harry Potter Fan NEEDS To Read In 2018". Bustle. Retrieved . 
  23. ^ PenzeyMoog, Caitlin; Adamczyk, Laura (January 4, 2018). "The 10 books we can't wait to read in 2018". The A.V. Club. Retrieved . 
  24. ^ Burke, Tina (March 2018). "8 Books You Absolutely Have To Read This Month". InStyle Australia. Retrieved . 
  25. ^ "Mal Ortberg's Creepy New Book is Coming Out and Mal Is Too". Autostraddle. 2018-02-28. Retrieved . 
  26. ^ Havrilesky, Heather (2018-03-13). "'Mallory Is Not Gone': Daniel Mallory Ortberg on Coming Out As Trans". The Cut. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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