This social satire about millennials in early 21st century San Francisco has been garnering some significant praise for its portrait of four young friends negotiating a world of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and self-help seminars. It’s a wicked look at the children of privilege coming to terms with the inevitable failures that life deals out. While the book has humor and snark aplenty, it’s also got heart. Marilynne Robinson once noted of Tulathimutte that “Tony’s writing makes you remember why feelings are called feelings.”
There’s been great advance review coverage. At on sale there will be a first serial in N+1 and an interview with Bill Cheng in Tin House, as well as review coverage in the NYT, NY Review of Books, Bookforum and The Atlantic.
“Witty, unsparing, and unsettlingly precise, Tulathimutte empathizes with his subjects even as he (brilliantly) skewers them. A satirical portrait of privilege and disappointment with striking emotional depth.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
It’s not easy being a Millennial, especially not in Tulathimutte’s debut, which traces the rising and falling fortunes of four recent Stanford grads just before the 2008 financial crisis….All four [protagonists] grapple with the gaps between their early promise and their current less-than-shining realities, and between their individual forms of privilege and the struggles of those around them….Tulathimutte exhibits a talent for satire, and a willingness to embrace brutal reality and outright absurdity.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Overeducated, underemployed, full of apathy, pain, and drugs, Tulathimutte’s eccentric characters menace each other, self-sabotage (three characters wind up in the hospital), and finally, in a way, come to terms. Tulathimutte’s debut is poetic and verbose as his characters sardonically and intellectually upend every contemporary topic presented to them— consumer complicity, white guilt, joblessness, activism, sex, instant gratification in the digital age, and even hygiene…an impressive start for an edgy new writer.”
Private Citizens (9780062399106) by Tony Tulathimutte. $14.99 trade paper original. 2/9/16 on sale.