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20Although taking off largely from the context of the American experience, 20something Essays by 20something Writers: On new jobs, old loves, fighting the Man, having a kid, saving the world, and everything in between portrays the nearly universal experience among twentysomethings the world over: the search for one’s unique identity in a world of contradictions, the longing to hit it big out there, the longing to save the planet, the longing to save one’s self; and finding meaning in the midst of tragedies both personal and familial, getting on and off the transit of life and not knowing where to go, and ultimately redeeming one’s self. Contrary to the rather stereotypical notion of young people in movies and elsewhere as a party-going and booze-bingeing collective bereft of a clear sense of direction, this book treads the less talked-about territories of twentysomething-ness and reveals an intimate, if not a more humane, portrait of this confusing period in one’s life. Edited by Matt Kellog and Jillian Quint, the book, a collection of essays from twentysomethings, is far from trivial and flippant: funny, thought-provoking, sad, and almost always achingly real and honest, the writers flesh out insights here and there, whether it be from working nights at Wendy’s, dealing with parenthood, staring at death, moving to the big city, serving in Kuwait, and finding in the Internet what you can’t have in real life as it were. There is joy (and sadness) in reading the works in the book, a lingering testament to the voice of a generation thought to have been drowned altogether by the chaos of the modern world.

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