Reviews - My Missspent Youth
"Essay lovers take heart. There's a new voice in the fray, and it belongs to a talented young writer. In this collection of on-target analyses of American culture, Daum offers the disapproval of youth, leavened with pithy humor and harsh self-appraisal . . . An edgy read."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"For several years now, I've kept copies of some of these essays in a manila folder by my desk. When friends or colleagues ask if I know of any especially interesting new writers, I pull out the folder and head for the photocopier. Meghan Daum's essay Variations on Grief is one of the most stunningly honest things I've ever read. And throughout this book, there are a surprising number of moments when your jaw just drops in amazement at what she's saying. Even when she's being funny, her writing has a clarity and intensity that just makes you feel awake."
"An empathic reporter and a provocative autobiographer . . . I finished it in a single afternoon, mesmerized and spluttering."
"Pretty damn irresistible."
"Caustic and amusing . . . Sublime musings on modern life."
"Meghan Daum has the true essayist's gift: she will say what no one else is willing to say (about being a shiksa, about leaving New York, about being unable to grieve), and through her eloquent and vivid candor she embodies for the reader nothing less than what it feels like to be alive in America right now."
"[Daum writes] bravely and with heart . . . Hilarious, lyrical . . ."
-The Village Voice
"This eclectic collection of essays delves into the corners of contemporary life, ferreting out the eccentric as well as the ordinary. Readers can identify with Daum's disdain for carpeting or her difficulty living within her means on New York's Upper West Side while working at a low-paying publishing job. On a less familiar note is an essay exploring the lifestyle of a group in California who call their communal way of life "polyamory," a brand of free love reminiscent of the 1960s. Not shy about implicating herself, Daum plunges into such thorny issues as an Internet romance and her inability to mourn a friend's death, along with her irritation at his superficial, enabling parents . . . Her work demonstrates honesty and an ability to look perceptively at herself and contemporary life. Daum's is a provocative and refreshing new voice."
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