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Adult Fantasy - out now through Scribe

‘I pictured myself a wine-dark streak in a TV desert, ears too full of the summer wind to hear that ominous ticking in the sky: the sound of a cultural clock counting me out of youth.

Briohny Doyle turned thirty without a clear idea of what her adult life should look like. The world she lived in, with its economic uncertainty, political conservatism, and precarious employment conditions, didn’t match the one her parents grew up in. Every day she read editorials about how her milennial cohort – dubbed the ‘Peter Pan generation’ – were reluctant to embrace the traditional markers of adulthood: a stable job, a house in the suburbs, a nuclear family.

But do these markers of maturity mean the same thing today as they did thirty years ago? In a smart and spirited enquiry, Doyle examines whether millennials are redefining what it means to be an adult today. Blending personal essay and cultural critique, she ventures into the big claims of philosophy and the neon buzz of pop culture to ask: in a rapidly changing world, do the so-called adult milestones distract us from other measures of maturity?

What people are saying:

‘It's dangerous to declare anyone the voice of your generation, but if Briohny Doyle was declared the voice of mine, I'd be nothing short of honoured.’ BEN LAW, AUTHOR OF THE FAMILY LAW

"Adult Fantasy is like a gut-punch from L'Etranger and a balm for anti-Gen Y rhetoric. Confronting, existential, tremendous." ANNA SPARGO-RYAN, AUTHOR OF THE PAPER HOUSE

'If you’re a millennial, or you love one, or you hope to live long enough to see the world governed by them, you should be reading Briohny Doyle.' TONI JORDAN, THE GUARDIAN

'Briohny Doyle, moves beyond generationalism to explore fledgling adulthood and the failures of neoliberalism with a sharp, lucid eye. Always warmhearted and frank, and often poignant, ADULT FANTASY is a vital examination of what it means to come of age today.'  JENNIFER DOWN, AUTHOR OF OUR MAGIC HOUR

'Adult Fantasy is a thoughtful, honest and engaging examination of the myths and realities of adulthood. It’s a real pleasure to accompany Doyle as she tugs at the threads of conventional adulthood and then re-weaves them into something softer, messier and far-more forgiving.' EMILY MAGUIRE, AUTHOR OF AN ISOLATED INCIDENT

‘A book that blends memoir, sociology, pop-culture riffs and journalism to examine adulthood in the new millennium. It’s smart, insightful and a pleasure to read.’ JO CASE, BOOKSELLER AND PUBLISHER

'I loved this book. I found myself underlining so much of it that I thought I may as well give up annotating, lest I render it unreadable; often I found myself reading it and nodding vigorously in agreement ... An absorbing mix of memoir and social critique for anyone curious about millennial ennui. I want to give this book to everyone I know.' KELSEY OLDHAM, READINGS

'Rising from the ashes of a tired argument [of conflict between boomers and millennials] is Adult Fantasy, guided by a lively voice and dark humour ... The style, a mash of personal essay and cultural criticism, is a regular feature of American nonfiction and exploded in 2015 with Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts. Similarly, Doyle critiques culture through self, and is tightly reined in her use of personal anecdotes ... Firmly establishing a growing nonfiction genre.' THE AUSTRALIAN

'Thoughtful, insightful and genuinely worth the time. Weaving together historical context, observation and her own laugh-out-loud-funny experiences, Adult Fantasy is cleverly written and very readable ... Doyle’s academic smarts lend the book cred, [bringing] rigour to a subject usually shrouded in hysteria and outrage. Boomers and generation X will get just as much out of reading as younger people ... Adult Fantasy is the beginning of a conversation about generationalism that Australia sorely needs to have. And Doyle has kicked it off in a careful, considered and compassionate way.' JAMILA RIZVI, READINGS MONTHLY

'A deeply insightful exploration of how traditional milestones can be both outmoded and repressive ... A thoughtful book on the future of young people.' THUY ON, THE BIG ISSUE

'Doyle’s voice is a mix of cynicism, wryness and impatient desire to shrug off the inheritance of adulthood and not give a shit. Nihilism mingles with paralysing self-awareness. She doesn’t pretend to speak for her generation, but her observational humour and emotional openness make it impossible for the reader not to relate to her struggle.' THE MONTHLY

'Sharp, entertaining ... a wide-ranging meditation and, in the end, a mature reflection on 50 years of neo-liberalism, millennial political apathy, and the conclusion that responsible freedom rests upon ensuring the freedom of others.' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

'A joy to read ... a thoughtful consideration of what getting older looks and feels like to one woman.' HERALD SUN

'Doyle observes – and writes – with extraordinary clarity and intellect ... [This is] a wholesale, redoubtable response to a sort of sour intergenerational bluster ... A few pages in, I started picturing Doyle as the Lorax: a beautiful mind, alone on a platform above the fray, bitter and wise and weary.' LISTENER NEW ZEALAND

'Briohny Doyle gets it ... a well-informed and heartfelt meditation on "growing up" in the strange first decades of the twenty-first century. [This is] a smart read for anyone who suspects they might be an adult, but doesn't know how to be sure. This book helps you understand and, maybe more importantly, helps you feel understood.' BRUNSWICK STREET BOOKSTORE