Adult Fantasy: My Search for True Maturity in an Age of Mortgages, Marriages, and Other Supposedly Adult Milestones
'I pictured myself a wine-dark streak in a TV desert, ears too full of the summer wind to hear that ominous ticking in the sky- the sound of a cultural clock counting me out of youth.'
Briohny Doyle turned thirty without a clear idea of what her adult life should look like. The world she lived in, with its global economic uncertainty, political conservatism, and precarious employment conditions, didn't match the one her parents grew up in. Every day she read editorials about how her millennial cohort - dubbed the 'Peter Pan generation' - were reluctant to embrace the traditional markers of adulthood- a stable job, a house in the suburbs, a nuclear family.
But do these emblems of maturity mean the same thing today as they did thirty years ago? In a smart and spirited enquiry, Doyle examines whether millennials are redefining what it means to be an adult today. Blending personal essay and cultural critique, she ventures into the big claims of philosophy and the neon buzz of pop culture to ask- in a rapidly changing world, do the so-called adult milestones distract us from other measures of maturity?
'Adult Fantasy is like a gut-punch from L'Etranger and a balm for anti-Gen Y rhetoric. Confronting, existential, tremendous.' -Anna Spargo-Ryan, author of The Paper House 'Smart, insightful, and a pleasure to read, seamlessly combining serious analysis with wry asides.' FOUR AND A HALF STARS. -Jo Case, Books+Publishing 'It's dangerous to declare anyone the voice of your generation, but if Briohny Doyle was declared the voice of mine, I'd be nothing short of honoured. In this book, she somehow articulates and refines every foggy frustration and anxiety millennials feel about their status, place in life, and where they're headed. This is a book of consolation - reminding us we're not insane or alone - and revelation, by asking all the right questions and finding answers that never fail to surprise and help.' -Ben Law, author of The Family Law 'Adult Fantasy is a thoughtful, honest, and engaging examination of the myths and realities of adulthood. It's a real pleasure to accompany Doyle as she tugs at the threads of conventional adulthood and then re-weaves them into something softer, messier, and far more forgiving.' -Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident 'Briohny Doyle moves beyond generationalism to explore fledgling adulthood and the failures of neoliberalism with a sharp, lucid eye. Always warmhearted and frank, and often poignant, Adult Fantasy is a vital examination of what it means to come of age today.' -Jennifer Down, author of Our Magic Hour
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.