What really happens in the first year out of college? When Caroline Kitchener graduated from Princeton, she began shadowing four of her female classmates, interviewing them as they started to navigate the murky waters of post-collegiate life.Read more...
What really happens in the first year out of college? When Caroline Kitchener graduated from Princeton, she began shadowing four of her female classmates, interviewing them as they started to navigate the murky waters of post-collegiate life. Weaving together her own experience as a writer with the experiences of these other women--a documentarian, a singer, a programmer, and an aspiring doctor--Kitchener delves deeply into the personal and professional opportunities offered to female college graduates, and how the world perceives them.
The five women in this diverse group confront challenges, such as parental estrangement, mental illness, financial anxiety, and heartbreak, all the while tackling their nascent careers and forging their own paths forward. Relationships with their parents warp and strain as they cross into adulthood and negotiate their newfound independence. Romantically, the women cast off in a number of directions, with some exploring nontraditional relationships and others latching onto a single partner for stability in an uncertain world.
Kitchener writes with the fervor of a journalist, the rigor of a sociologist, and the nuance and empathy of a skilled memoirist, and she has crafted a brilliant work of reportage, replete with human characters. Both a broad and an intensely individual exploration, Post Grad is an account of the generation people can't stop talking about, from one of its own.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Kitchener, who graduated from Princeton in 2014, reports on the experiences of five young women (including herself) in the first year out of college, a transition she likens to leaving a pool and jumping into the ocean. The women she profiles are all Princeton graduates, but they vary in their aspirations, values, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. These differences strengthen the threads of the narrative as Kitchener and her peers undergo major changes in their personal and professional lives. With a strong command of narrative, she draws on genuine moments of stress, such as breakups or familial strife, to keep readers interested while highlighting professional transformations and obstacles. One woman chooses to commit to her art; another prepares for medical school; others look to the start-up world for employment. Kitchener reports on topics such as sexual orientation, religion, dating culture, drug abuse, and depression, all of which the women deal with in turn. Kitchener excels at sprinkling the multiple story lines with statistics to add clarity and insight to a truly challenging stage of life. Her book is highly recommended for recent grads stumbling through their newfound independence. (Apr.)