The most millennial books of 2020
With the generation’s blisteringly open tales of sex, drugs, and devastating credit-card debt, the struggle has, quite literally, never been more real — or readable. Below, the three novels that inhabited the millennial ethos the most this year.
Luster by Raven Leilani
The must-’gram galley of the spring became the must-read title of the summer among millennials, thanks to an eye-catching cover, a compulsively readable plot—about a struggling book-publishing assistant — and the narrator’s darkly funny social commentary. Luster’s effect is not dissimilar to a meme, if a meme won literary awards. Fam, this book is all of us.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
The Sally Rooney-ification of literature landed right on schedule with Dolan’s novel about an Irish twenty-something living in Hong Kong, freeloading off a banker friend (with benefits) while attempting to quote-unquote discover herself. It relies on the style, coined by the Normal People author, of briskly straightforward sentences, which would seem rote if it weren’t so spot-on.
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
The memoirist serves tech-start-up millennial here — a very specific subset that reeks of performance fleece, fair-trade pour-over coffee, and those fold-up bicycles. But this is no sycophantic story of Silicon Valley and its ideals — Wiener fillets the industry (and the men who run it) in this tell-all about her desultory stint in customer service at a Big Data company.