From one of the brightest young chroniclers of US culture comes this dazzling collection of essays on the internet, the self, feminism and politics
We are living in the era of the self, in an era of malleable truth and widespread personal and political delusion. In these nine interlinked essays, Jia Tolentino, the New Yorker's brightest young talent, explores her own coming of age in this warped and confusing landscape.
From the rise of the internet to her own appearance on an early reality TV show; from her experiences of ecstasy – both religious and chemical – to her uneasy engagement with our culture's endless drive towards ‘self-optimisation'; from the phenomenon of the successful American scammer to her generation's obsession with extravagant weddings, Jia Tolentino writes with style, humour and a fierce clarity about these strangest of times.
Following in the footsteps of American luminaries such as Susan Sontag, Joan Didion and Rebecca Solnit, yet with a voice and vision all her own, Jia Tolentino writes with a rare gift for elucidating nuance and complexity, coupled with a disarming warmth. This debut collection of her essays announces her exactly the sort of voice we need to hear from right now – and for many years to come.
About the Author
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She grew up in Texas, attended the University of Virginia, and served in Kyrgyzstan in the Peace Corps. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. She was a contributing editor at The Hairpin and the deputy editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Grantland, Slate, Pitchfork, Bon Appetit, Spin, and Fader. She lives in Brooklyn.
`Jia Tolentino is the best young essayist at work in the United States, one I've consistently admired and learned from. All through the book, single sentences flash like lightning to show something familiar in a startling way, but she also builds extended arguments with her usual, unusual blend of lyricism and scepticism, and in the end, we have a picture of America that was as missing as it was needed' Rebecca Solnit
`This is a whip-smart, challenging book that will prompt many of us to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It filled me with hope' Zadie Smith
`In her first book of essays, New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino deftly tackles the great millennial topics of the day, using her own experiences, whipsmart cultural observations and historical research ... A thoroughly enjoyable education on society' Vogue
`There is one guarantee with this New Yorker writer's book of essays: it will make you stop and think ... Tolentino's writing will leave you feeling a bit more humble, and a bit more intelligent. Her personal stories and narratives feel natural in these essays, as if they should always have been there, and bring new life to old subjects' Independent
`For anyone who likes zeitgeisty cultural commentary but through an incredibly smart lens, as academic as they are topical ... I really recommend these essays' Pandora Sykes
`Brilliant essays on everything from the internet to the self. Is Tolentino the new Joan Didion?' ES Magazine
`The summer beach read for the woke-minded from superstar millennial journalist Jia Tolentino' Sunday Times
`If you've read Tolentino's essays in the New Yorker, you already know that she's the millennial Susan Sontag, a brilliant voice in cultural criticism ... Even better: She writes like a dream' Washington Post