Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation


Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Dey Street Books
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured in NPR, Elle, and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana.


Amazon's Top Ten Editor's Best of the Month picks for September.

"Whether you're looking for solutions or just looking to feel seen, Can't Even is a can't-miss." --Harper's Bazaar, "27 Best Books of 2020"

"Petersen's third book, a highlight-every-sentence-in-recognition survey of the anxiety and exhaustion baked into the lives of myriad young people, dispels many of the myths and misconceptions--the laziness! the entitlement!--surrounding the generation that came of age amid the internet and economic collapse. Yet rather than pit millennials against boomers, Petersen makes meaningful and constructive connections between the toils and troubles of the two groups."--Oprah Magazine

"We think of capitalism as a way of organizing an economy. But given enough time, it goes beyond that: It organizes our lives, our hopes, our relationships. Anne Helen Petersen has written an analytically precise, deeply empathic book about the psychic toll modern capitalism has taken on those shaped by it. Can't Even is essential to understanding our age, and ourselves." --Ezra Klein, Vox co-founder and New York Times bestselling author of Why We're Polarized

"Can't Even is the Nickel and Dimed of this generation. A cogent and sober analysis of the economic lives that decades of precarity has wrought, told in Petersen's smart, measured style." --Tressie McMillan Cottom, assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of the National Book Award finalist Thick: And Other Essays

"Reading this incredible book, I had the overwhelming feeling of someone arranging the chaotic fragments of my life into a cohesive whole. Can't Even felt like a field guide, a mirror, and an absolution. Compassionate, wise, and incisive, it is a defining work about a generation defined by work." --Ed Yong, writer, The Atlantic and New York Times bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes

"Can't Even is a compelling exploration of the phenomenon of burnout and how an entire generation has been set up to fail. As a Millennial, reading this book was a deeply cathartic experience. Anne Helen Petersen articulates the struggles and motivation of a generation so impeccably. Reading this book made me feel like finally, someone understands me. I wish I could give this book to everyone I know." --Taylor Lorenz, culture reporter, New York Times

"Trenchant and incisive portrait of a generation primed for revolt."--Publishers Weekly

"In a cultural moment rife with inter-generational sparring ("OK, Boomer"), and with millennials garnering criticism for their transient-appearing lifestyles (never buying houses or napkins), Buzzfeed culture writer Petersen cracks open why millennials behave the way they do and how the lifestyles that have been forced upon them are a detriment to society as a whole...Petersen is generous in divulging personal experiences and hopeful even at her most enraged. This galvanizing read reminds readers that what seems impossible is absolutely not, especially for a generation with so little to lose."--Booklist, STARRED review