Adult Fantasy: My Search for True Maturity in an Age of Mortgages, Marriages, and Other Supposedly Adult Milestones
A wry and topical inquiry into how we respond when our cultural clock starts ticking. 'For a long time I pretended turning thirty was no big deal - but looking back, it's clear I was bat-shit na-na for a good nine months either side of that birthday.' The first of the millennials are now in their thirties. Dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation', they have been accused of delaying adult milestones. But do marriage, careers, mortgages, and babies mean the same thing today that they did 30 years ago? Briohny Doyle turned 30 without a clear idea of what her adult life should look like. A greengrocer with a graduate degree, the world she lived in didn't match the one her parents described. Her dad advised her to find a nice secure job; her best friend got married and moved to the suburbs. But she couldn't help wondering if the so-called adult milestones distract us from other measures of maturity. In a crackling mix of memoir and cultural critique, Doyle explores how societies cultivate ideas about education, work, relationships, and ageing. She interrogates the concept of adulthood through the neon buzz of pop culture and the lives of other young adults. In a rapidly-changing world, she asks- what is an adult, and how do you become one?
'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 'Smart, insightful, and a pleasure to read, seamlessly combining serious analysis with wry asides.' FOUR AND A HALF STARS. -Jo Case, Books+Publishing '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. In this book, she somehow articulates and refines every foggy frustration and anxiety millennials feel about their status, place in life, and where they're headed. This is a book of consolation - reminding us we're not insane or alone - and revelation, by asking all the right questions and finding answers that never fail to surprise and help.' -Ben Law, author of The Family Law '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 '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
Briohny Doyle is a Melbourne-based writer and academic, and an inaugural winner of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Lifted Brow, The Age, Overland, Griffith Review and Meanjin, and been performed at the Sydney Festival and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Her debut novel, The Island Will Sink, was published in August 2016.