My Misspent Youth: Essays
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Date: November 2015
Duration: 4 hours 3 minutes
An essayist in the tradition of Joan Didion, Meghan Daum is one of the most celebrated nonfiction writers of her generation, widely recognized for her fresh, provocative approach with which she unearths the hidden fault lines in the American landscape. From her well remembered New Yorker essays about the financial demands of big-city ambition and the ethereal, strangely old-fashioned allure of cyber-relationships to her dazzlingly hilarious riff in Harper's about musical passions that give way to middle-brow paraphernalia, Daum delves into the center of things while closely examining the detritus that spills out along the way. With precision and well-balanced irony, Daum implicates herself as readily as she does the targets that fascinate and horrify her.
"In this collection of (largely previously published) on-target analyses of American culture, Daum offers the disapproval of youth, leavened with pithy humor and harsh self-appraisal... While her main premise that many Americans live 'not actual lives but simulations of lives... via the trinkets on our shelves' leaves room for disagreement, on the whole, readers will enjoy an edgy read."
"This eclectic collection of essays delves into the corners of contemporary life, ferreting out the eccentric as well as the ordinary... Not shy about implicating herself, Daum plunges into such thorny issues as an Internet romance and her inability to mourn a friend's death, along with her irritation at his superficial, enabling parents... Her work demonstrates honesty and an ability to look perceptively at herself and contemporary life. Daum's is a provocative and refreshing new voice."