Find out more about applying for the Rhodes Scholarship

Find out more about applying for the Rhodes Scholarship


Scholars' Library: With Jessica Teich on 'The Future Tense of Joy'

Scholars' Library: With Jessica Teich on 'The Future Tense of Joy'

28 September 2022

18:00 - 19:00 (GMT+01:00)

Online Platform


Join Jessica Teich Connecticut & Magdalen 1981) and Scholar Anupriya Dhonchak for a conversation on Jessica's book 'The Future Tense of Joy'

Part of the Lifelong Fellowship portfolio, The Scholars’ Library is a monthly book talk series, where Rhodes alumni can come together to present, discover and debate their literary works. If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out to Georgie Thurston at

For our September event, we are pleased to invite you to take part in a conversation with Jessica Teich (Connecticut & Magdalen 1981), author of 'The Future Tense of Joy'

In dialogue with a Scholar Anupriya Dhonchak (India & Balliol 2021) amongst other topics Jessica will discuss the meaning of female success, particularly related to the Rhodes Scholarship, the #MeToo movement, the sharing and belonging that comes with the genre of memoir, the role arts play in healing, and whether resilience is something that can be taught.

Scholars may obtain a copy of 'The Future Tense of Joy' here:

Book Description

“‘No one was less likely to take her own life.’ That’s what her Oxford thesis advisor wrote. From the moment I stumbled across the obituary, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, I was captivated, and it wasn’t the terrible details of her death: That she leapt from the balcony of a high rise in Century City. That she was 27, and a newlywed.”

So begins Jessica Teich’s quest to unravel a mystery: the suicide of someone she never met.

Bright and accomplished, with a loving family, Jessica knows she should be happy. But a violent childhood has left its mark. Jessica fears she will never be free of her past—until she discovers the obituary of a young woman, whose life is a ghostly echo of her own.

Can Jessica discover what drove this brilliant young woman to kill herself? And will discovering the truth save Jessica from the fissures tearing apart her own life?

A deeply intimate psychological memoir, The Future Tense of Joy is the luminous account of one woman’s efforts to free herself, and her family, from the demons of the past. Witty, brave and suspenseful, the book has been hailed by Meryl Streep as “beautiful, compassionately imagined.” Steve Martin called it “a daring and intimate journey into the soul of motherhood.”

Jessica Teich (Connecticut & Magdalen 1981) graduated summa cum laude from Yale and received an M.Phil. degree from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Her first book, Trees Make the Best Mobiles: Simple Ways to Raise Your Child In A Complex World, appeared in Vanity Fair, People, Us, and the Chicago Tribune, and was featured on the Today Show. For almost a decade, Teich worked as a literary manager at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, commissioning and developing plays. She subsequently received a grant from the American Film Institute to write and direct a film. Teich served as head of the Biography committee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and her articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.

Anupriya Dhonchak (India & Balliol 2021) is an Indian Rhodes Scholar and lawyer. She finished her Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) recently at Oxford, graduating with Prizes for best performance in two of her courses. She is currently pursuing the MPhil in law at Oxford. Prior to the BCL, she graduated with a B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree as a gold medalist from National Law University, Delhi. Anupriya has worked on action-oriented policy projects concerning rights of survivors of sexual violence, women prisoners, and issues of reproductive justice. She writes regularly on these issues for law journals and national dailies. Her paper on the standard of consent in rape law in India was published by the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice.


Please register via this EventBrite page. Your link to join the conversation can be found in your confirmation email, so please keep this safe.

This event is open to the public.

Q & A:

Please feel free to submit any questions in advance to or you can use the chat function within Zoom to ask questions directly during the live event.