Gen X writers on The New Yorker’s watchlist

Allow me to crow, for a moment, about my generation, even if it’s because of an admittedly arbitrary (and who knows, like most discussions of this sort, could be potentially pointless) list:

The New Yorker Picks Young Writers Worth Watching

“The New Yorker has chosen its ’20 Under 40′ list of fiction writers worth watching, a group assembled by the magazine’s editors in a lengthy, secretive process that has provoked considerable anxiety among young literary types. … All but two … are in their 30s.”

—New York Times, “20 Young Writers Earn the Envy of Many Others,” Julie Bosman, June 2, 2010

As the Times notes, none of these authors were born before 1970. At a time today where trend stories about Boomers and Millennials seem to drive most generational-related news stories, it’s nice to see Gen X writers,  particularly the younger half of my generation (those, like me, born in the Seventies, as opposed to Gen X’ers born in the Sixties) get some due.

They hail from all over and, as The New Yorker editor David Remnick put it, they have nothing in common except their age. But that’s a big thing to have in common. Growing up at the same time as these authors, living through the same world events (if certainly not the same direct life experiences), I’m naturally more inclined to read them, just to see if we do indeed share even part of a worldview because of our similar birthyears.

Of course, I can’t help being a killjoy, but anyone want to take morning-line odds on the inevitable carping? Not from fellow writers, or even from fellow Gen X’ers among the great unwashed masses within the creative underclass? No, from those aforementioned Boomers (bound to say, at that age, they did it better) or from the aforementioned Millennials (bound to say, at their current age, they can do it better). And shit, a mere two paragraphs later, here I go falling into the same pervasive trap I just criticized the news industry of perpetuating. Icepick, heal thyself.


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