"A master of the personal essay candidly explores love, death, and the counterfeit rituals of American life In her celebrated 2001 collection, My Misspent Youth, Meghan Daum offered a bold, witty, defining account of the artistic ambitions, financial anxieties, and mixed emotions of her generation. The Unspeakable is an equally bold and witty, but also a sadder and wiser, report from early middle age. It's a report tempered by hard times. In "Matricide," Daum unflinchingly describes a parent's death and the uncomfortable emotions it provokes; and in "Diary of a Coma" she relates her own journey to the twilight of the mind. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the marriage-industrial complex,of the New Age dating market, and of the peculiar habits of the young and digital. Elsewhere, she writes searchingly about cultural nostalgia, Joni Mitchell, and the alternating heartbreak and liberation of choosing not to have children. Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with a warm humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete"
About the Author
Meghan Daum (born 1970) is an American essayist, journalist, and the author of five books, including the brand new The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through The New Culture Wars. Her last book was the collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, which won the 2015 PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction.In 2019 Meghan became a biweekly columnist for Medium. From 2005 to 2016 she was an oped columnist for The Los Angeles Times. Her work has been included in The Best American Essays and she has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and Vogue. In the spring of 2017, Meghan was the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Nonfiction MFA Program at the University of Iowa and she has taught at numerous writing conferences, including Aspen Summer Words and the Virginia Quarterly Review Writers’ Conference.
She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She is on the adjunct faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts.