“Our offspring have simply leveraged our braggadocio, good intentions, and overinvestment,” Koslow writes in her new book, “Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest” (Viking). They inhabit “a broad savannah of entitlement that we’ve watered, landscaped, and hired gardeners to maintain.” She recommends letting the grasslands revert to forest: “The best way for a lot of us to show our love would be to learn to un-mother and un-father.”
—The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert
“There's a Koslow in all of us who wants to strangle Hannah, the character played by Lena Dunham in the popular HBO show Girls, when we learn that her parents had been subsidizing her life in New York City while she worked at an unpaid internship and pursued a writing career.... Koslow criticizes clueless parents as much as their narcissistic offspring. She argues that babying adult children tends to yield entitled progeny who can't launch their way into the conventional phases of adulthood. Koslow offers excellent advice, which makes this book worth reading to the end.”
—Fortune, Nin-Hai Tseng
“At last, a serious, well-researched book about raising children which also includes that crucial characteristic every parent needs — a sense of humor. Sally Koslow's excellent Slouching Toward Adulthood explores the economic and cultural forces creating the growing hordes of adult children failing to launch — i.e., start careers, become financially independent, move out of the parental nest. Or as Koslow calls them: "adultescents...." Rather than adding to the mass hysteria, Koslow offers sensible advice for both the kids and their perplexed parents, leavened by self-deprecating anecdotes and insights from her childhood in Fargo, N.D.”
—USA Today: Book Review (PDF version)
"Recognize that channel-surfing, chips-snacking lump on the couch? It might be your adult child. Koslow writes wittily about the immobilization of American youth as increasing numbers treat getting a job and moving out as just an option. The solution? Stop trying to inoculate our kids against all failure, for starters. An eye-opener."
"...(Koslow's) own sharply funny voice is the book’s biggest strength. She has a lot of sympathy for her sons’ generation, one she sees as buffeted by 'a perfect storm of overconfidence, a sense of never-ending time, and a grim reaper of a job market.' Still, she finds herself wishing her sons and their peers 'would stop pretending that procrastination represents moral superiority and just try to get on with it.'"
—The Boston Globe
“A witty, provocative study that examines why so many millenials can't seem to launch into adulthood and now find themselves “wandering—if not literally, then psychically.”... This postponement has in turn given rise to a new developmental phase that Koslow calls “adultescence.” This period (ages 22 to 35), writes the author, is characterized by an “exploration [of self and the world] that seems to go on forever, not unlike the Rolling Stones.” A bad economy and severely limited career prospects for young people with no real work experience are only part of the reason for the rise of this new phenomenon. Many adultescents are also taking to heart what their boomer parents have told them since childhood: that they can be and do anything they want because they are special. Consequently, they are creating lives that appear to be breaking all the rules that have characterized the successful, well-ordered lives of their parents.... Boomers and their offspring remain tied to each other, caught in a never-never land of loving codependency.Observant and bracingly candid.”
“Smart, with plenty of insights and a lively prose style that should keep readers, especially the book’s target audience of parents wondering why their grown-up kids are back living in their basements, engaged.”
“Koslow casts a keen eye on the `not-so-empty-nest’ phenomenon that besets today’s baby boomer parents . . . and provides plenty of food for thought for parents and adultescents who want to understand each other and perhaps change things for the better.”
"I'd recommend this book to the main candidates for U.S. president."
—Call of the Siren, Nick Owchar, former LA Times Deputy Book reviewer
"Explores the explosion of young adults who boomerang back to the family nest after college and the reaction of their Boomer parents.
Why it’s hot: Kids coming home is a hot topic in today’s economy, and veteran magazine writer and editor Koslow uses her own experience with two grown sons to describe the cultural and fiscal forces creating these “adultescents.”
—USAToday: Summer Books Preview
“This book is hilarious! I burst out laughing on page one, and it just got funnier and funnier. But Slouching Toward Adulthood is also hard-hitting and painfully insightful—I found myself wincing with recognition. Backed by the latest research, Sally Koslow’s thought-provoking new book should be required reading for today's parents and young adults.”
—Amy Chua, professor of law at Yale University and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
"a funny portrait and a timely study of the reasons and cultural forces behind the hot topic phenomenon of adult kids who struggle to start their careers and become independent."
—WesLive (Wesleyan University), Kevin Wiliarty
“Sally Koslow has written a funny, shrewd, and true account of a problem the boomer generation didn’t know it had created: the consequences of helicopter parenting. We’ve pampered our kids so much they don’t want to grow up. Who can blame them? Slouching Toward Adulthood is the book that explains why ‘the guest bedroom’ is a thing of the past.”
—James Atlas, author of My Life in the Middle Ages
"I have been one of those Facebooking Americorps Fantasy-Life Idealists... Despite the Tigerly nag, (Koslow's) coy observations hit the nail on the head in regard to what adultescents face below the surface. She’s very good at seeing underlying motivations as well as generational plagues that haven’t always been there, and she does point the gun of responsibility back at the boomers.... One of those amazing insights...is her perspective on our generation’s bondage to choice. Koslow discerns in this demographic how choice, something anyone would say they like to have, ends up paralyzing those who make it their objective."
—Mockingbird, Ethan Richardson
"Rather than adding to the mass hysteria, Koslow offers sensible advice for both the kids and their perplexed parents, leavened by self-deprecating anecdotes and insights from her childhood in Fargo, North Dakota."
—Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register
"These kids have really been screwed. We boomers took it for granted that if you were out of a job, you could get another. We thought we were smart, but we were lucky."
—More Magazine, Juliann Garey
" ...packs an unsentimental punch for the growing population of parents with grown-up kids who are home again after college, travel or vocational school—jobless, heart-sore and adrift. Koslow’s “adultescents” are a new phenomenon, different from both F. Scott Fitzgerald’s or even David Foster Wallace’s slouchers, unprecedented in both scope and spiritual danger because of our new century’s perfect storm of economic hardship and over-qualification. “Sobering” is the word for Koslow’s data and hopeful conclusions "
—BookPage, Joanna Brichetto
"Biting narratives...illustrate what Koslow identifies as 'wandering...... an exploration that seems to go on forever, not unlike the Rolling Stones.'
I appreciated Koslow's ability to make a good case regarding how all of this dysfunction came about.
With typical humor, she writes: 'It's time to say enough. People, step away from the adultescents. All together now, let's push back. The best way for a lot of us to show our love would be to learn to un-mother and un-father....' She offers...a subtle and profound observation: 'If we're not old -- with our covetable lives, joint replacements, face lifts ... Spanx ... Bikram yoga ... treks through Patagonia -- how can we expect our kids to grow up? If we're not old, our children must be big babies we adore, whose attention we crave as much as they crave our support in myriad forms.'
If this doesn't get your wheels turning, I don't know what will."
—Times-Standard, Tracey Barnes Priestley
“Full of research, insight, and hilarious examples of what life is like for the long-suffering parents of ‘adultescents,’ Slouching Toward Adulthood is one of those invaluable books that identifies and illuminates a new phenomenon in our culture.”
—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“Sally Koslow has really hit on something with her incisive Slouching Toward Adulthood. Memorable books that struck a chord about the path of life or the dissonance between parent and child—Gail Sheehy’s Passages, Nancy Friday’s My Mother/My Self—all had a kind of kitchen-table humanity and an ability to limn the unnamed conflicts of a particular moment. Beneath its jaunty two-drinks-with-your-coolest-friend ebullience, this book, as of its moment as those books were of theirs, has that resonance, too.”
—Sheila Weller, author of Girls Like Us
“Let go, Sally Koslow exhorts indulgent parents who lovingly enable their adultescents to postpone the rigors and responsibilities of being a grown-up. Koslow’s wit and wisdom wake us up to the hidden costs of hanging on too long to our kids, to our youth, and to the past. A great read!”
—Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted
“In her trenchant book on twenty-first-century life with our adult children, Sally Koslow offers us wit, awareness, and, most important, a sense that we are not alone. From the first pages, the reader feels right at home, comforted by Koslow’s confessions, research, and wisdom.”
—Susan Shapiro Barash, author of You’re Grounded Forever . . . But First Let’s Go Shopping
“A novelist (With Friends Like These) and journalist (O: The Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post), Koslow draws on her own experience, as well as research and interviews, to talk about a crucial issue these days: the number of adult children who have returned home to live with their parents.”
“I devoured the book, often laughing out loud at Koslow's breezy prose and her spot-on dissection of her own baby-boom generation -- my nomination for the "most annoying" group of people since time began. I was born in 1938, a product of the pre-boomer generation, which included most of the musicians the boomers claim, including Bob Dylan (born 1941)) and the Beatles (born 1940--1943... There was no Rolling Stone cover or Time magazine accolades for pre-boomers and we pretty much did everything the boomers did, only quieter (most of the time, at least!)”
—HuntingtonNews.net, David M. Kinchen
“Rather than adding to the mass hysteria, Koslow offers sensible advice for both kids and perplexed parents, leavened by self-deprecating anecdotes and insights from her childhood in Fargo, North Dakota.”
— Hattiesburg American
“Insights both humorous and grim into the relationships between parents and older children, the messy effects of the current economy on those relationships, and...the way hovering parents...are spoiling what Koslow calls their adultescents. (Koslow) digs deeper into the idea, now making the rounds, that 28 is the new 19. She points out that the very adults who so carefully guided their children through the college application process...who spent so much time, energy and money to give them the right education, are often the source of the problem when it comes to that same young person leaving college with the idea of tackling the world on its own terms.But Koslow... a progressive...also takes adultescents to task.”
—Smoky Mountain News, Jeff Minick
"I liked this book, because.. I agree with its findings. 't’s hard for us to realize that, like graceful actors, we need to evolve in our roles and adopt a less-is-more, fade-to-gray parenting.It’s one thing to provide our children shelter in a storm and another to function as their entire weather system.If you step back, they’ll be able to step forward.' I loved that. Talk about a book you can chew on, gnaw on, savor, digest or perhaps have some difficulty swallowing. This is a good one……a really good one."
—The Empty Nest Mom, Barbara Albright
“Slouching Towards Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest gives voice to the many changes experienced in this last generation - social, economic, technological, cultural. Baby-boomers who eagerly flew from the nest and took on independence as a matter of pride are now micro-managing their young adult children's lives in a myriad of ways. Good or bad? That is the underlying question of Sally's very witty, insightful book. She sneaks in a lot of factual information, showing how widespread many of these new behaviors are, indeed becoming norms.”
—Mt. Airy Patch, Betsy Teutsch
“A really good read. I’ve been enjoying (Koslow's) personal stories and her interviews with other parents, psychologists, and post-graduate children. She writes with...humor and sensitivity...as she addresses both sides of the situation.”
“A broad-brush, sympathetic take on the economic and cultural forces that promote extended dependency... (In the audio version) Coleen Marlo narrates this seamless collection of popular press writing, academic research, and interview excerpts from a cross section of parents, offspring, and experts.”