|Daniel Mallory Ortberg|
Ortberg speaking in 2015
November 28, 1986
Texts from Jane Eyre
The Merry Spinster
|Relatives||John Ortberg (father)|
Daniel Mallory Ortberg (born November 28, 1986) 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.
Ortberg grew up in northern Illinois and then San Francisco, 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.
Ortberg wrote for Gawker and The Hairpin, and met eventual Toast co-founder Nicole Cliffe through this work. Cliffe and Ortberg launched the feminist general interest The Toast and operated it together from July 2013 to July 2016.
Ortberg was included in the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 list in the media category. On November 9, 2015, Slate announced Ortberg would take over the magazine's "Dear Prudence" advice column from Emily Yoffe.
Ortberg's first book, Texts from Jane Eyre, was released in November 2014 and became a New York Times bestseller. The book was based on a column Ortberg wrote first at The Hairpin, then continued at The Toast, 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.
Ortberg is also the author of the short story collection The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror (Henry Holt, 2018). 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.
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".
Ortberg identifies as queer and has mentioned dating women. In February 2018, Ortberg spoke to Autostraddle about the process of transitioning genders while writing The Merry Spinster. In March 2018, he was interviewed by Heather Havrilesky in New York magazine's The Cut about coming out as trans.
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