Selected as the winners of Random House’s national contest, a stunning collection of essays ranging from comic to poignant, personal to political, by the newest, brightest young writers you haven’t heard of . . . yet.

Here, for the first time, current twentysomethings come together on their own terms, in their own words, and begin to define this remarkably diverse and self-aware generation. Tackling an array of subjects—career, family, sex, religion, technology, art—they form a vibrant, unified community while simultaneously proving that there is no typical twentysomething experience.

In this collection, a young father works the late-night shift at Wendy’s, learning the finer points of status, teamwork, and French fries. A nude art model explains why she’s happy to be viewed as an object. An international relief worker wrestles with his choices as he starts to resent the very people who need his help the most. A devout follower of Joan Didion explains what New York means to her. And a young Army engineer spends his time in Kuwait futilely trying to grow a mustache like his dad’s.

With grace, wit, humor, and urgency, these writers invite us into their lives and into their heads. Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers is both a rich, provocative read as well as a bold statement from a generation just now coming into its own.

About the Editors

Matt Kellogg and Jillian Quint are proud twentysomethings and indentured servants, er, assistants in the Random House editorial department. They both own iPods and have never seen an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter. Some other interesting facts: Matt never has more than three unsorted emails in his inbox; Jillian currently has 6,974 items. Matt enjoys basketball, buffalo chicken wraps, and his Tide Pen stain remover, while Jillian gets her kicks planning theme parties, entering The New Yorker cartoon caption writing contest, and attending her weekly aerobics class, “Move to the Beat!” They both like the 17th-floor pdf machine but have conflicting feelings about mustard.