Author(s): Joanna Rakoff
Living in crumbling Brooklyn apartments, holding down jobs as actors and writers and eschewing the middle-class sensibilities of their parents, graduates of the prestigious Oberlin College, Lil, Beth, Sadie, Emily, Dave and Tal believe they can have it all. When the group come together to celebrate a marriage,anything seems possible. But soon the reality of rent, marriage and family will test them all. For this fortunate age can't last for ever, and the group must face adulthood, whether they are ready for it or not. Sprawling and richly drawn, A Fortunate Age traces the lives of the group during some of the most defining years of modern America - from the decadence of the dot com boom through to the sobering events of September 11 and the trailing years that followed - this brilliant, ambitious debut novel perfectly captures the hopes, anxieties and dreams of a generation.
A group of young graduates chase their dreams in the rapidly changing Brooklyn of the late 1990s, a compelling, deeply affecting story that captures a generation.
A wonderful, funny and spot-on portrait of my clumsy generation that brings to mind such hallmarks as Mary McCarthy's The Group, Jay McInerney's Brightness Falls, and Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children -- Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story An epic novel ... about a generation finding its way ... Rakoff has brilliantly captured the mood of the era and the energy of a city Bookpage An expansive and elegantly executed time capsule of the dot.com generation finding its feet during a critical moment in history New York Daily News Compulsively readable Los Angeles Times Funny and acerbic ... A Fortunate Age leaves a lasting impression New York Observer Superb, acutely insightful ... a modern-day version of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence The Rumpus The poet and journalist assures her place on the East Coast literary scene with this artful, engaging novel Daily Mail An impressively organised and psychologically astute account of the trials of growing up ... Rakoff's book is a real achievement, which delivers the satisfying combination of story, setting and character that is any 500-page social realist novel's premise Guardian Fans of Lena Dunham's Girls will appreciate Rakoff's integrity ... It's one of those rare novels that shines a light on the elements of our personalities that we don't like showing off and the anxieties we think no-one but us holds ... Rakoff crafts a book of contemporary characters you can truly recognise and believe in. I, for one, will be passing it along Stylist Girls fans will recognise the place and pacing immediately ... Rakoff smartly observes the pain of impending adulthood, and reminds us that anxiety and uncertainty is not the exclusive preserve of today's 20-somethings Grazia
Joanna Rakoff is a poet and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir My Salinger Year. She was the recipient of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction and the Elle Readers' Prize. As a journalist and critic, she has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Time Out and O: The Oprah Magazine. The BBC produced a radio documentary following her as she tracked down the writer of her favourite Salinger fan letter. She has degrees from Columbia University, University College London and Oberlin College. Joanna Rakoff lives in Cambridge, MA. www.joannarakoff.com @jrakoff