Kiley Reid draws and expands on the history of black women as caretakers of white women's children and the emotion that lays within such a power structure. Dialogue floats off the page as phrases you've heard in your ears and the characters are people we've all met. She has skillfully woven a message on the intersections of race, class and gender into an immensely readable book. Juicy like a celebrity gossip magazine but illuminating like a New York Times expose, this is about the state of our structure as an American society.
This book is so indicative of our current age of white fragility and racism veiled under white liberalism. Dialogue floats off the page; the characters are people we’ve all met. Reid draws and expands on the history of Black women as caretakers of white women’s children and on the emotion that lies within such a power structure. She has skillfully woven the intersections of race, class, and gender into an immensely readable book.
“When I attempted to write a review for Such a Fun Age, I was at a loss for words. How could I encapsulate how Kiley Reid’s startling debut perfectly captured what it means to be a woman? The societal pressure, the self-doubt, the perseverance, the constant comparison — all of it was perfectly represented through Reid’s two wonderfully flawed and captivating leads. Follow Emira and Alix, two women on seemingly incongruous paths who find themselves searching for purpose and an authentic sense of self. Such a Fun Age tackles complex issues — race, gender, economic status, and the intersection of them all — yet remains accessible. You will not want to put this book down; when you do, you’ll be itching to pick it back up again.”
— Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • NPR • Vogue• Elle •Real Simple• InStyle • Good Housekeeping • Parade • Slate •Vox •Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal •BookPage
Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Reese's Book Club Pick
"The most provocative page-turner of the year." --Entertainment Weekly
"I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." --NPR
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.
About the Author
KILEY REID is currently pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts at the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her short stories have been featured and are forthcoming in Ploughshares, December, New South, Lumina,and others.