Uneducated by Christopher Zara

A Memoir of Flunking Out, Falling Apart, and Finding My Worth

“I started writing this book because I wanted to describe what the education gap looks like from the wrong side of the diploma divide, what it's like to be shut out of careers that expect impressive credentials, jobs that reward top-tier pedigrees, and entire industries that subsist on talent pipelines supplied by a handful of elite schools. I didn't initially set out to write such a deeply personal story.”


The moment I read the blurb for Christopher Zara’s memoir I knew I had to read it. It’s an impactful and inspiring account that tracks Zara’s unconventional path into journalism. 

Zara is a senior editor at Fast Company, a position he worked his way up and into after an internship at thirty-five years old with Show Business Weekly, and later, jobs with International Business Times and Newsweek

“My working life up until that point had been little more than a loosely rhythmic procession of three phases: not having a job, applying for jobs, and working at whichever retail establishment hired me. Ice cream stands. Cookie stores. Frame shops. Quit, step, repeat,” he writes. 

Unlike many of his co-workers, Zara is not college educated. He was ejected in his junior year of high school for behavioral problems, and later had a short stint at a psychiatric institute. 

Following that, he spent a period hooked on heroin before fleeing the Northeast to get clean in Florida, then moved west to Seattle where he started pitching and writing freelance magazine articles. The year 2005 brought Zara back to New York where his journalism internship felt like “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

This is a very special memoir, especially for those of us who question whether it’s too late to change careers, if we think our age or lack of education is going to hold us back, or we struggle with imposter syndrome. I strongly urge you to read this. 

Uneducated is an honest, courageous, and entertaining memoir.

Courtesy Little, Brown

Christopher Zara is an author and journalist who writes about culture, media, business, and technology. He is a senior editor at Fast Company, where he runs the news desk, and was previously a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business Weekly. Christopher lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Christina D'Angelo, and their cat, Jimmy Carter McPickles, who is officially on the lease.

Uneducated: A Memoir of Flunking Out, Falling Apart, and Finding My Worth is releasing in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats on May 16th. Pre-order from Bookshop.org now.