I went over the copy editor's remarks and put in some last changes to the manuscript on Thursday--all day long, at the Riverhead office. I'm so excited for the book to really come out. Less than four months now.
The opening piece in the New York Times Magazine today was all like, "What's up with this emerging adulthood thing? Isn't it just an artifact of the Boomers' alarmist perception of young people?" Which is good as far as it goes. But all too familiarly, the writer, Ann Hulbert, whose most common subject is parenthood, glosses over the political and economic aspects of the phenomenon, in the final paragraph, thus:
[Turn of the century writer Randolph Bourne] went on to make a point that seems especially relevant these days, when college kids are saddled with debt - an adult experience if ever there was one - and young people are juggling jobs and lives in unscripted ways. For 25-year-olds looking back on life since 17, Bourne reflected, there are "so many crises, so many startling surprises, so many vivid joys and harrowing humiliations and disappointments, that one feels startlingly old; one wonders if one will ever feel so old again."
I can certainly relate to the description of the emotional state of being 25--the age I am today. Yet I think Hulbert makes a serious mistake to separate the effect (young people vague, unfocused) from the underlying causes (college debt, juggling jobs). It's like saying, oh, those Dust Bowl Okies! So unrooted! So confused! Such nomads!
Of course, that's just why I'm writing this book.