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?
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.