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Private Citizens

Cover of Private Citizens

Private Citizens

A Novel
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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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Tony Tulathimutte has written for VICE, AGNI, The Threepenny Review, Salon, The New Yorker online, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Stanford University, he has received an O. Henry Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He lives in New York.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 30, 2015
    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.

  • Emma Cline, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls "The first great millennial novel."
  • New York magazine "It may well be time that we start asking whose writing will populate the 'millennial canon.' Tony Tulathimutte's debut novel, Private Citizens, is the answer to that question."
  • Village Voice "[A] hilarious portrait of youthful self-centeredness."
  • The Paris Review "This season, my literary accessory choice is Tony Tulathimutte's Private Citizens."
  • Huffington Post "Private Citizens succeeds on the charm of its verisimilitude and the brilliance of its observations."
  • Anthony Marra, New York Times-bestselling author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena "We know millennials as bogeychildren of alarmist trend pieces and the catchall hand-wringing of an aging commentariat. Tulathimutte is on the front line of writers showing that they're also worthy heroes and heroines of the American novel."
  • Time magazine "Private Citizens is a combustible combination of acrobatic language, dead-on observations and hilarious, heartbreaking storytelling. Tulathimutte has created characters that are hard to forget—first they'll make you want to strangle them, then you'll end up falling in love with them."
  • Angela Flournoy, National Book Award finalist and author of The Turner House "[A] razor-sharp debut...Witty, unsparing, and unsettlingly precise, Tulathimutte empathizes with his subjects even as he (brilliantly) skewers them. A satirical portrait of privilege and disappointment with striking emotional depth."
  • Paris Review "A hilarious and gutsy novel that does the braver thing, reinvesting the world we know with humanity. Tony Tulathimutte's satire cuts deep, bur has a tender belly—and this book will leave you raw with feeling and aching at the ribs."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Tony Tulathimutte is a virtuoso of words... [his] writing edifies and entertains in language that's highbrow yet unwholesome-gourmet junk food, like the cereal-milk-flavored soft-serve at Momofuku Milk Bar."
  • Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine "A funny, unflinching portrayal of young people today, nasty neuroses and all."
  • Huffington Post "Rabidly intelligent, subversive, and heartfelt...An important and deliciously readable book by a brilliant new voice that poignantly upends contemporary ideas of authenticity."
  • Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes "Tulathimutte's debut is poetic and verbose...an impressive start for an edgy new writer."
  • Jennifer Percy, author of Demon Camp "Tony Tulathimutte writes sentences with a reckless verve that reminds one of the best of David Foster Wallace. He's a major American talent."
  • Karan Mahajan, author of Family Planning and The Association of Small Bombs "Tulathimutte exhibits a talent for satire, and a willingness to embrace brutal reality and outright absurdity."
  • Benjamin Hale, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore "Tony Tulathimutte's militantly ironic debut novel, Private Citizens, is set in San Francisco during a golden hour for upper millennials...[It] takes its title as a paradox, or as a challenge...The one thing the novel can still do better than other art forms is...
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Tony Tulathimutte
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