An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World That Expects Exceptional

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Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.1 X 0.9 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Rainesford Stauffer has written and reported for the New York Times, New York magazine's The Cut, WSJ Magazine, Teen Vogue, Vox, and The Atlantic, among other outlets. She has appeared on CNN Newsroom, NPR's On Point and Weekend Edition, and podcasts such as ABC News' Start Here, the Guardian's Chips with Everything, and Foreign Policy's Don't Touch Your Face. She is a journalist, speaker, and Kentuckian.


"Stauffer explores the diminishing returns of young adulthood in this soulful book, providing a meticulous cartography of how outer forces shape young people's inner lives. From chronic burnout to the loneliness epidemic to the strictures of social media, An Ordinary Age leads with empathy in exploring the myriad challenges facing young adults, while also advocating for a better path forward: one where young people can live authentic lives filled with love, community, and self-knowledge." -- Esquire

"Stauffer's book isn't a polemic about The Youth of Today, but rather, a dialogue with young adults as they reflect on their emerging adulthoods, and experts in various fields who help place those reflections in a wider context....some sections landed so well I was tempted to chuck the book across the room." -- Boston Globe

"An Ordinary Age is an antidote for young people everywhere who are sick and tired of being sick and tired that the lives they wake up to everyday don't match the ones they see on Instagram. It is a book for those who deserve to know that their lives and their efforts aren't just good enough: They are well and truly good." -- Meg Jay PhD, author of The Defining Decade and Supernormal

"Rainesford Stauffer is a brave writer who takes us to places that we haven't been yet, and gives us companionship when we're there. I'd love to hand out thousands of copies of this book. You will find comfort and empowerment in every chapter. An Ordinary Age is a gentle but urgent call to embrace the fullness of life, and that's a reminder we can use at any stage of life." -- Mari Andrew, author of Am I There Yet?

"Rainesford Stauffer asks all the important questions in An Ordinary Age, which is in many ways a coming-of-age manifesto about how it feels, and what it means, to grow into adulthood in the digital age when we're all told we should be living our quote-unquote best lives." -- Kate Fagan, author of What Made Maddy Run

"The quest for perfection and excellence has left us exhausted, pissed off, and bewildered. If you want to turn away, at whatever point in your life, from the endless cycle of burnout, this beautifully written, endlessly empathetic book is for you." -- Anne Helen Petersen, author of Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

"Reading this book made me feel a lot less alone -- it captures what it is to be young in America with so much empathy and intelligence. Stauffer centers the voices and experiences of young adults while also investigating the systemic forces that define this life stage with clarity." -- Masuma Ahuja, author of GIRLHOOD