Memoirs from millennial women are a popular literary form this year, with real-life guides for confused or exhausted young adults.
Millennials are the generation that has been blamed by older generations and the media for destroying entire modern day concepts, foods, and businesses such as department stores, motorcycles, diamonds, golf, bar soap, college football, and lunch, among hundreds more.
One would have thought that with that much power we could take over the world, if only we would stop eating avocado toast for just one damn minute, right?
Thankfully those millennial stereotypes aren’t really true, and we are much more than Instagram obsessives with huge student debt.
The following list of memoirs by women aged between 22-37 years old take the reader through the stresses, obsessions, pressures, failures, and the crazy world of dating in the 21st century.
“Alida Nugent’s first book, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse (2013) received terrific reviews, and her self-deprecating every-girl approach continues to win the Internet-savvy writer and blogger new fans. Now, she takes on one of today’s hottest cultural topics: feminism.
Nugent is a proud feminist and she’s not afraid to say it. From the scarlet F thrust upon you if you declare yourself a feminist at a party to how to handle judgmental Boots staff when you pop in for the morning-after pill, YOU DON T HAVE TO LIKE ME skewers a range of cultural issues, and confirms Nugent as a star on the rise.”
“In this investigation into loss, losing and being lost, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. A Field Guide to Getting Lost takes in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting.
Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.”
“Are you a woman? Do you make to-do lists to stop you losing your mind? Have you ever cried in the toilets at work, had a meltdown in the supermarket, or gone off the rails at a hen party? And have you ever been saved from any of the above by your truly brilliant friends? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. A moving, funny and brutally honest memoir of one woman’s millennial misadventures, The To-Do List and Other Debacles follows Amy Jones on her journeys through friendship, marriage and mental health disasters in a story that’s as relatable as it is riotous.”
“Daisy’s memoir The Sisterhood explores what it’s like to live as a modern woman by examining some examples close to home – her adored and infuriating sisters. There’s Beth, the rebellious contrarian; Grace, the overachiever with a dark sense of humour; Livvy, the tough girl who secretly cries during adverts; Maddy, essentially Descartes with a beehive; and Dotty, the joker obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race and bears.
In this tender, funny and unflinchingly honest account Daisy examines her relationship with her sisters and what it’s made up of – friendship, insecurity jokes, jealousy and above all, love – while celebrating the ways in which women connect with each other and finding the ways in which we’re all sisters under the skin.”
“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. This debut collection of her essays announces her exactly the sort of voice we need to hear from right now – and for many years to come.”
“Vagina provides girls and women with information they need about their own bodies – about the vagina, the hymen, the clitoris, the orgasm; about conditions like endometriosis and vulvodynia. It confronts taboos, such as abortion, miscarriage, infertility and masturbation. It tackles vital social issues like period poverty, female genital mutilation and the rights of transgender women. It is honest and moving as Lynn Enright shares her personal stories but this is about more than one woman – this is a book that will provoke thousands of conversations. We urgently need to talk about women’s sexual and reproductive health, about our experiences of sex and pregnancy and pain and pleasure. Vagina: A Re-Education will help us do just that.”
“Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It’s a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.
Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth’s own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.
Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.”
“‘I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid. But I am doing it anyway.‘
In this dazzling debut, Emilie Pine speaks to the business of living as a woman in the 21st century – its extraordinary pain and its extraordinary joy. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, she writes with radical honesty on birth and death, on the grief of infertility, on caring for her alcoholic father, on taboos around female bodies and female pain, on sexual violence and violence against the self. Devastatingly poignant and profoundly wise – and joyful against the odds – Notes to Self offers a portrait not just of its author but of a whole generation.”
“When Jean Hannah Edelstein’s world overturned she was forced to confront some of the big questions in life: How do we cope with grief? How does living change when we realise we’re not invincible? Does knowing our likely fate make it harder or easier to face the future? How do you motivate yourself to go on your OkCupid date when you’re struggling with your own mortality?
Written in her inimitable, wry and insightful voice, Jean Hannah Edelstein’s memoir is by turns heart-breaking, hopeful and yet also disarmingly funny. This Really Isn’t About You is a book about finding your way in life. Which is to say, it’s a book about discovering you are not really in control of that at all.”
“2 Dope Queens star Phoebe Robinson is ready to share everything she’s experienced in the hope that, if you can laugh at her topsy-turvy life, you can laugh at your own. Written in her trademark unfiltered, witty style, Robinson’s latest essay collection is a call to arms. She tackles a wide range of topics, such as intersectional feminism, beauty standards, and toxic masculinity. A candid perspective for a generation that has had the rug pulled out from under it too many times to count.”