A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young Black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young Black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.
From Arizona, Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her New York Times-bestselling debut novel, Such a Fun Age, is currently in development by Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Sight Unseen Pictures. The novel was longlisted for The 2020 Booker Prize and a finalist for the New York Public Library’s 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author, and the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award. Kiley’s writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Playboy, December, Lumina, where her short story was the winner in the 2017 Flash Prose Contest, and Ploughshares, where her short story was the winner of the 2020 Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction. Kiley lives in Philadelphia.