PRIVATE CITIZENS was named a best book of the year by New York Magazine/Vulture, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Nylon, Kirkus, Electric Literature and The Millions.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month in the Literature & Fiction Category
A Buzzfeed “Most Exciting” Book of 2016
A Flavorwire “Most Anticipated” Book of 2016
New York Magazine calls Private Citizens "the first great millennial novel."
Emma Cline calls it "brilliant."
From a brilliant new literary talent comes a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco. With the social acuity of Adelle Waldman and the murderous wit of Martin Amis, Tony Tulathimutte’s Private Citizens is a brainy, irreverent debut—This Side of Paradise for a new era.
Capturing the anxious, self-aware mood of young college grads in the aughts, Private Citizens embraces the contradictions of our new century: call it a loving satire. A gleefully rude comedy of manners. Middlemarch for Millennials. The novel's four whip-smart narrators—idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda—are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.
A wise and searching depiction of a generation grappling with privilege and finding grace in failure, Private Citizens is as expansively intelligent as it is full of heart.
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. Cory finds herself unexpectedly at the helm of a Bay Area nonprofit that is as much about assuaging liberal guilt (perhaps especially her own) as it is about fostering genuine change. Linda and Henrik are still recovering in their own unique and thoroughly imperfect ways from their failed love affair, which in many ways defined their college years. And then there's Will, whose virginity has finally been ended by his beautiful girlfriend, Vanya, whose desire for Internet fame may be getting in the way of their relationship. All four of them 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. The novel's structurally more formal first half is also the more successful; each of its lengthy chapters focuses on one of the four characters and reads almost like a well-developed short story. When their paths begin to cross again in the novel's second half, the plots become more enmeshed but less satisfying. Nevertheless, Tulathimutte exhibits a talent for satire, and a willingness to embrace brutal reality and outright absurdity.