Though Boo’s devotion to her craft has translated into prestige and success, she mostly dodges the limelight. In May, she did agree to give the commencement speech at Columbia’s Journalism School: “I think that our careers grow when we start accepting the world’s lack of enthusiasm as a given and face down the part of the problem that’s on us—that maybe, as individuals, we’re not quite good enough yet at what it is that we do.” She and her fellow self-loathers, she said, are “simply sweating to do what [Samuel] Beckett said, which is to fail better.”


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Kira Goldenberg is an associate editor at CJR.