Books

Jami Attenberg’s Latest Novel, All Grown Up, Tests The Conventions of “Adulting”

This month, New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg, 45, is celebrating the release of her sixth novel, All Grown Up. Known for her 2013 work, The Middlesteins, Attenberg’s newest book has already garnered praise from Elle, Glamour, Bustle, and The Chicago Tribune, to name a few.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The novel centers on Andrea Bern, a single, 39-year-old, as she stumbles through life’s challenges in an attempt to provide some real definition to what it means to be an “adult.” All Grown Up sheds light on the different social standards of what it means to “grow up,” particularly as it relates to career, family and, more specifically, romance.

Earlier this month, Attenberg spoke with Julia Felsenthal of Vogue about her inspiration behind the novel.

“I wanted to write a book that didn’t have somebody trying to find a husband, or falling in love at the very end,” Attenberg told Felsenthal in a phone interview. “That’s the thing that annoys the hell out of me, where they sneak it in. I just watched that Tina Fey movie where she’s a war reporter [Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot]. She goes through all this arduous stuff. She’s having a little fling, and then she finally does something really brave and makes it through alive. She comes back to the U.S., she’s sitting at her anchor desk, and you’re like, yeah! Tina Fey! And then, at the very end, they bring back the love interest. [And], I’m like: You did not need to do that!”

As Attenberg’s interview draws into question, it appears the novel’s main purpose is to make readers ask — “What makes a life worth living?” — as Felsenthal puts it.

As you read this month’s book selection, All Grown Up, comment below with your thoughts on Jami Attenberg’s novel. How do you define what it means to be an “adult”? Do you agree with the ideas Attenberg instills in her novel’s main character, Andrea Berns? What are your overall thoughts on the novel?

Read Attenberg’s full interview at Vogue

Photo by Zack Smith Photography

Jami Attenberg, Photo by Zack Smith Photography

Jami Attenberg’s All Grown Up is the featured novel in Cozy Reader Club’s March 2017 box.

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