A Times book of the year
A Guardian book of the year
‘Magnificent’ The Times
‘Dazzling’ New Statesman
‘It filled me with hope’ Zadie Smith
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 essays announces her as 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 Appétit, Spin, and Fader. She lives in Brooklyn.
- ‘A masterclass in how to think about the world’ Samantha Irby
- ‘Thoroughly enjoyable’ Vogue
- ‘There is one guarantee with this book: it will make you stop and think … Tolentino’s writing will leave you feeling a bit more humble, and a bit more intelligent’ Independent
- ‘Hardcore modern intellectualism with a side of memes’ Daily Telegraph
- ‘A page-turning holiday read’ Elle
- ‘An astute and exciting new voice’ Financial Times (Books of the Year)
- ‘A bold and playful collection from a hugely talented writer’ Guardian
- ‘The best young essayist at work in the United States’ Rebecca Solnit
- ‘The millennial Susan Sontag, a brilliant voice in cultural criticism. . . She remains engaged with her subjects even as she scratches her head and wonders why we do what we do. Even better: She writes like a dream’ Washington Post
- ‘Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time’ Vulture
- ‘She is the kind of writer who is talked about with a mixture of rapturous admiration and pained envy … dazzling’ New Statesman
- ‘The Book of the Moment’ Vice
- ‘Magnificent … her position as the pre-eminent genius among the millennial intellectuals is self-assured’ The Times
- ‘This is electrifying, vital writing’ Louise O’Neill