Why are so many millennials struggling to exceed—or meet—their parents’ success?
On this week’s episode, sponsored in part by Amazon Crossing, Anne Helen Petersen discusses Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept. 22).
Stress, student debt, increasing income inequality, and the need to achieve are pushing many millennials to the breaking point. And even those who do garner traditional markers of success seem to be having a hard time enjoying them. Petersen, a culture writer for BuzzFeed News who holds a PhD in media studies from the University of Texas at Austin, expands her viral article (“How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation,” Jan. 5, 2019) by placing millennial burnout in its historical context and interviewing scores of Americans born between 1981 and 1996 about their attitudes towards work, leisure, parenting, and more. The result, as Kirkus writes, is a “well-researched and -rendered analysis of why so many millennials feel overwhelmed despite their best efforts” (starred review).
Petersen and host Megan Labrise get real about the West Coast wildfires; what it took to expand her original article into a book; the cultural shifts and policy changes that led to burnout; interview methods and data collection; how overworked, under-compensated, and close to collapse many millennials are; and how it doesn’t have to be this way.
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
Vampires of Blinsh by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Aaron Reiner (Abrams)
Early Departures by justin a. reynolds (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict (Avid Reader Press)
All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.