Andrea Bern is pretty successful. Having abandoned life as an artist, she’s got a job she can do in her sleep. Only problem? She’s bored. And she’s looking for options. But all the options seem pretty crappy, and I’m not just talking about drink, drugs, and casual sex. Her artist friend Matthew, her beautiful friend Indigo, her sexy neighbor Kevin, her coworker Nina, and her brother David all represent alternatives, only none of those alternatives are working out so well. Andrea’s story is a jagged linear narrative, told in fits and starts and doubling back, feeding us a little more info about that time she slept with her brother’s bandmate, or what were the circumstances of her father’s overdose, or how exactly Mom paid the rent. And the more the story unravels, in between my nervous laughter, I breathed a sigh of relief that Andrea survived at all, and hoped that maybe, just maybe, she might just grow up after all, whatever that means nowadays.— Daniel Goldin
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.
Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she's a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it's what she leaves unsaid--she's alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh--that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother--who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood--and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke.
But when Andrea's niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg's power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman's life, lived entirely on her own terms.
About the Author
JAMI ATTENBERG is the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. She has contributed essays about sex, urban life, and food to The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Lenny Letter, among other publications. She divides her time between Brooklyn and New Orleans.
“Jami Attenberg’s sharply drawn protagonist, Andrea, has such a riveting, propulsive voice that All Grown Up is hard to put down, but I urge you to resist reading it in one sitting. Both the prose and the author’s knowing excavation of one woman’s desires, compromises, strengths, and fears deserve closer attention. Like Andrea herself, this novel is beautiful and brutal, intelligent and funny, frank and sexy.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times best-selling author of The Nest
“Jami Attenberg’s Andrea is the most addicting female protagonist voice I have read in years, with her cutting observations on human relationships. This witty journey through a mess of men, female friendships, family, and boozy urban existence positions the single girl not as object to be fixed but as contemporary sage and seer: the ultimate witness of truth in love today.”—Melissa Broder, author of So Sad Today
“Jami Attenberg has written her frankest, funniest, and most riveting and heartbreaking book yet. In Andrea, she has created a character women will be talking about for years; she has opened the door for us to see ourselves in literature in a new way, writing with skill and fearlessness few others can match.”—Emily Gould, author of Friendship
“Hilarious, courageous, and mesmerizing from page one, All Grown Up is a little gem that packs adevastating wallop. It’s that rare book I’m dying to give all my friends so we can discuss it deep into the night. I’m in awe of Jami Attenberg.”—Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
“Is all life junk - sparkly and seductive and devastating - just waiting to be told correctly by someone who will hold our hand and walk with us a while confirming that what we’re living is true. This is a good proud urban book, a sad and specific blast for the fearless to read. Thank you Jami.”—Eileen Myles, author of Chelsea Girls
“What a voice. Honest and hilarious, unflinching and unapologetic, Jami Attenberg writes what it is to be single, sexual, and childfree by choice. I read the first page of All Grown Up and knew the novelist was going to outdo herself. I am happy to report that she most certainly did.”—Helen Ellis, author of American Housewife
“Jami Attenberg’s All Grown Up is one part Denis Johnson, one part Grace Paley, but all her. Every sentence pulls taut and glows—electric, gossipy, searing fun that is also a map to how to be more human.”—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night