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  • Published: 16 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784743345
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $37.00

Can't Even

How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation




An incendiary examination of burnout in millennials – the cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that sustain it and the need for drastic change

An incendiary examination of burnout in millennials – the cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that sustain it and the need for drastic change

Do you feel like your life is an endless to-do list? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram because you’re too exhausted to pick up a book? Are you mired in debt, or feel like you work all the time, or feel pressure to take whatever gives you joy and turn it into a lucrative side hustle? Welcome to burnout culture.

While burnout may seem like the default setting for the modern era, in Can’t Even, Anne Helen Petersen argues that burnout is a definitional condition for the millennial generation, born out of distrust in the institutions that have failed us, the unrealistic expectations of the modern workplace, and a sharp uptick in anxiety and hopelessness exacerbated by the constant pressure to “perform” our lives online.

Petersen examines how millennials have arrived at this point of burnout and how it affects different aspects of our lives – how we work, parent and socialise – describing its resonance with alarming familiarity. Through a socio-historical framework, original interviews, and detailed analysis, Can’t Even offers a galvanizing, intimate, and ultimately redemptive look at the lives of this much-maligned generation, and will be required reading for both millennials and the parents and employers trying to understand them.

  • Published: 16 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784743345
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $37.00

About the author

Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen is a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed. A former academic, Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured in NPR, Elle, and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

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