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Unspeakable : And Other Subjects of Discussion (Reprint) (Paperback) (Meghan Daum)

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A master of the personal essay candidly explores love, death, and the counterfeit rituals of American life in this "brave, funny compendium" (Slate)

Nearly fifteen years after her debut collection, My Misspent Youth, captured the ambitions and anxieties of a generation, Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay withThe Unspeakable, a powerful collection of ten new works. Where her previous collection explores what it is to be a struggling twenty-something urban dweller with an overdrawn bank account and oversized ambition,The Unspeakable contends with parental death, the decision not to have children, and more-a new set of challenges tackled by a writer at her best, investigated in the same uncompromising voice that made Daum one of the most engaging thinkers writing today.

In The Unspeakable, Daum pushes back against the false sentimentality and shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround so much of the contemporary American experience. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the New Age search for the "Best Possible Experience," champions the merits of cream-of-mushroom-soup casserole, and gleefully recounts a quintessential "only-in-L.A." story of playing charades at a famous person's home.

Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron's, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete.

A master of the personal essay candidly explores love, death, and the counterfeit rituals of American life


In her celebrated 2001 collection, My Misspent Youth, Meghan Daum offered a bold, witty, defining account of the artistic ambitions, financial anxieties, and mixed emotions of her generation.The Unspeakable is an equally bold and witty, but also a sadder and wiser, report from early middle age.

It's a report tempered by hard times. In "Matricide," Daum unflinchingly describes a parent's death and the uncomfortable emotions it provokes; and in "Diary of a Coma" she relates her own journey to the twilight of the mind. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the marriage-industrial complex, of the New Age dating market, and of the peculiar habits of the young and digital. Elsewhere, she writes searchingly about cultural nostalgia, Joni Mitchell, and the alternating heartbreak and liberation of choosing not to have children.

Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with a warm humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete.

Edition: Reprint
Number of Pages: 244
Genre: Literary Collections
Sub-Genre: Essays
Format: Paperback
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Author: Meghan Daum
Language: English
Street Date: November 3, 2015
TCIN: 21571361
UPC: 9781250074928
Item Number (DPCI): 247-49-7608

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