Amy Dong

Twenty-One Years Young

Two decades of living is not nothing. It is everything we know.

In Twenty-One Years Young: Essays, author Amy Dong examines the uncertainty, absurdity, and beauty in growing up. This poignant collection of essays is unabashedly intimate, drawing the reader into Dong's life as if they were a close friend. She masterfully evokes humor, nostalgia, melancholy, and euphoria to create scenes that are as vivid as they are profound.

In this collection, you'll read essays such as “So It Goes” (inspired by the famous Vonnegut quip), in which Dong reflects on a near-death experience; “On Taking Care of Pets,” a self-explanatory essay that provides the very best of belly laughs; and “The Man with the Magical Watch,” in which Dong grapples with the pain-and joy-inherent to our limited existence.
These essays urge readers to consider the meaning of a good life and, further, how they will choose to spend the rest of their moments. Fans of Didion and Sedaris alike will find themselves at home with this collection for its unyielding insight into young adulthood, travel, and life itself.
175 printed pages
Original publication



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