I’m Fascinated by the Journey to Adulthood: Q&A with Such a Fun Age Author, Kiley Reid

I’m Fascinated by the Journey to Adulthood: Q&A with Such a Fun Age Author, Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

Such A Fun Age starts on a Saturday night in Philadelphia. Emira Tucker is a 25-year-old babysitter and she’s with her friends at a party when her employer, Alix Chamberlain, calls and asks her to babysit while she deals with a family emergency. Emira is in need of the cash so she says yes, and she takes three-year-old Briar to the grocery store to pass the time. But then, a customer and a security guard, upon seeing a black woman with a white child, accuse her of kidnapping. Emira is humiliated, a bystander films the incident, and Alix sets out to right the night’s wrongs. But from there it turns into a comedy of good intentions as Alix and Emira learn that they have something in common.

What inspired the idea behind this novel?

I love reading about awkward interactions that reveal something about human behavior and bring history to the forefront. This novel started with the characters, I knew I wanted a fraught three person relationship and I was lucky enough to get two. There’s a mother, a babysitter, and the child. And there’s also a mother, a babysitter, and the sitter’s new boyfriend. I also wanted to lean into the boundaries set up around low-income domestic workers including health insurance and emotional labor. And lastly I’m fascinated by the journey to adulthood, specifically for those that don’t have well defined passions and how that affects their income trajectory.

What is something that has influenced you as a writer?

I’m influenced by just about everything; books, movies, overhearing a conversation, an album or a song. I love reading non-fiction books about the broader topics of whatever I’m writing about, and for this novel those were books about money, class, and privilege.

What’s your daily writing routine like and what are you working on at the moment?

When I’m first crafting something, it’s a slow process. I write for about three hours five times a week in the morning, and much of that time is less writing than thinking. But when I have a full draft I’ll spend 8-10 hours a day, as I did with Such A Fun Age in the last two months.

Right now I’m at the very beginning stages of novel number two, so it’s quite slow to say the least.

This is your debut novel. Do you have other manuscripts tucked away that you’ve worked on first?

 I have several, and I do hope they stay tucked away! But I’m also very thankful to have had the time and energy to craft those works, even though they’ll never see the light of day. I think it’s important to find out your tendencies as a writer and what you gravitate toward, as well as bad habits that you can hopefully curb.

Reviews

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: Your Preview Verdict

Review | Preview

8 January 2020

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: Your Preview Verdict

    Preview Reviews: Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

    Review | Preview

    8 January 2020

    Preview Reviews: Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

      See What Everyone is Talking About: Take A Sneak Peek at Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age

      Review | Extract

      7 January 2020

      See What Everyone is Talking About: Take A Sneak Peek at Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age

        Is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Worth the Hype? Definitely. Read a Review here

        Review | Our Review

        7 January 2020

        Is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Worth the Hype? Definitely. Read a Review here

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            Publisher details

            Such a Fun Age
            Author
            Kiley Reid
            Publisher
            Penguin
            Genre
            Fiction
            Released
            31 December, 2019

            Synopsis

            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,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
            Kiley Reid
            About the author

            Kiley Reid

            Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Such A Fun Age is her first novel.

            Books by Kiley Reid

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