Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent By Kiley Reid

Great look into the lives of a young generation of parents in Philadelphia, diverse, entertaining and written with empathy for our struggles. On the negative: somewhat chatty and not really exciting as a plot. Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent


summary Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent

I loved this book. I found the characters including their concerns, their varying tone and language registers, and their reactions to each other entirely relatable. (Context: I am a black woman in her mid thirties who spent eight years in the northeastern US and has lots of cousins in their mid twenties, with whom I chat via text every day.) If you prefer plot driven books and/or don’t like ambiguity, this is probably not the book for you. If you have ever felt like a guest star in your own life, you may be able to relate easily to the characters. As other reviewers have pointed out, a number of the book’s later events are signalled early. To me, the experience of watching this slow motion train wreck as it happens is central to the narrative’s point. As the book progresses, it explores two central stories and, in each, pushes the reader to question how much control any of us has over our life stories, and even our personalities. How possible is it to assert oneself and reinvent oneself, when others see you in a specific way? To what extent do the blind spots of our lives ultimately define us?Such a Fun Age’s true gift is in exploring what I’ll call “negative space”: the difference between what someone meant and how that action or characteristic is perceived. The novel balances the remarkable feat of using the exploration of this negative space to propel the action forward while also being smoothly readable. Ultimately, we spend time in characters' heads than we do in exploring objective action, as the characters reflect on where they are in life, others’ potential perception of where they are in life, and where they would like to be. Through the eyes of a white woman in her early thirties and a black woman in her mid twenties, Such a Fun Age explores race, class and power dynamics, but also aspirational motherhood, self serving narratives, and the difference between who we think ourselves to be and who we might actually be.Other reviewers have suggested that Emira, the black protagonist, is not well fleshed out. It is true that Emira’s character has less nuance and less backstory than the two main white characters (Alix and Kelley), but I was still able to get a strong sense of Emira’s immediate desires, her likes and dislikes, and her concerns and fears and that was enough for me. Since Emira spends the book trying to figure out what she wants for herself, it seemed plausible that nothing too jarring might have happened in her life prior to that moment. It also seemed plausible to me that she uses her experiences to figure out what she wants, muddling through ‘no’s until she gets to her ‘yes’. Indeed, part of the book’s point is that it is OK to not buy into a hyper aspirational narrative that it is OK to feel fulfilled with what others might consider to be “mediocre”. I’ve also been in a place where everyone seems to know about what I should be doing and how I should get there than I do myself, so I found elements of both Emira’s and Alix’s internal spaces entirely relatable. Coming into Emira’s life at this moment of pause where she knows she must move forward in order to be considered successful but is paralyzed by her internal lack of clear direction also makes sense for some of the themes the book explores. During the course of the novel, we see at least three other characters (two white, one black) treat Emira as a blank space on whom to project their own feelings about what she should be doing at this point in her life. This paternalism ranges from the explicit to the unintentional and is always well meant, even as Emira chafes against it. And in rebuffing that paternalism, Emira reminds the reader that she is very much her own person, even if that person is not who the world or even some readers want her to be.To the person who said that it is possible for black people to be relaxed with their friends and speak properly, well, duh. Emira and her friends do sometimes speak to each other “properly” in person. Sometimes they use a far casual register; thinking about how I speak with my friends in text and in person, that makes sense, too. I found it completely believable that Emira could receive texts that say, “Trap trap trap trap get that l.l.bean [d**k] gur” (without the brackets and asterisks), and also deploy words like “connoisseur,” as the occasion demanded. I wondered whether the reviewer that wrote this sentence doubting Emira’s language use only had type A, hyper aspirational friends.Lastly, I thought the book's ending provided a nice balance between answering the key plot questions while also leaving space for readers to make their own decisions about some aspects of the characters and their paths. Based on some of the other reviews, your mileage may vary! I would have actually been happy with even ambiguity, but it seems that many people wanted less. Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent If I were to tell you that this is a novel that examines critical issues around race, class, gender, etc., you would probably not feel attracted to it. These issues matter, but so many attempts at tackling them in fiction have fallen short of good writing, are either heavy on sociological analysis, feel like proselytizing, trivialize the issues, or end up as a debate about the legitimacy of the author’s right to deal with them. Instead, I will assure you that this is a delightful debut novel by a writer whose prose flows easily, with a great command of dialogue, scene setting, character development, and storytelling. The novel tackles all the issues listed above as they are part of the story and cannot be dissociated from the characters and their actions, but tackles them as fiction does best, making you think and question yourself and your preconceptions. Read it. Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent Kiley Reid is one of the best new writers that everyone as to reid. Great book, touching, revolting, true. Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent Es un libro que se lee fácil, me parece que es del 2015/2016 pero justamente los temas que toca son muy relevantes hoy en día, entretenido y educativo al mismo tiempo Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent I really liked it and how it discussed a really heavy topic it was definitely extreme but worth it 33 Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent

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