Before the Mortgage: Real Stories of Brazen Loves, Broken Leases, and the Perplexing Pursuit of Adulthood

Before the Mortgage: Real Stories of Brazen Loves, Broken Leases, and the Perplexing Pursuit of Adulthood

by Christina Amini
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The swank apartment, the killer job, and the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend haven't yet fallen into place. Is this really adulthood? Welcome to life before the mortgage. Here's what you need to know.

Christina Amini and Rachel Hutton have brought together the very best writing on this unpredictable — and often hilarious — time. This book features

…  See more details below

Overview

The swank apartment, the killer job, and the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend haven't yet fallen into place. Is this really adulthood? Welcome to life before the mortgage. Here's what you need to know.

Christina Amini and Rachel Hutton have brought together the very best writing on this unpredictable — and often hilarious — time. This book features essays by celebrated writers such as Joel Stein, Thisbe Nissen, Thomas Beller, Found magazine's Davy Rothbart, and ReadyMade's Shoshana Berger, as well as exciting new writers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A road map for the times when you're not going anywhere. If I'd had this book back in the day, my lean and hungry years wouldn't have been so miserable. What am I saying? Of course they would have been miserable. But at least I would've had a good book."
— Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events

"A great collection about those strange, confusing, slightly uncomfortable, exhilarating days. I laughed and I cringed. It almost made me want a 'chore wheel' again."
— Beth Lisick, author of Everybody into the Pool

"Unflinching and hilarious, Before the Mortgage is mandatory reading for people of any age who've ever wondered if they are ill-equipped to live an adult life."
— Laine Bergeson, Utne

"Read this well-done, funny, brutal collection of stories about young adulthood, and you will actually look forward to being a middle-aged suburban sellout."
— Rodney Rothman, author of Early Bird

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416913580
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
04/11/2006
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.53(d)

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

We're post-college and pre-picket fence. We're technically adults, but we don't always feel like it. Everything — work, home, love, life — hasn't exactly fallen into place as we imagined it would. But we're not ready to settle down, settle up, or settle for less. We like to say we're "before the mortgage."

This book began when we quit our first-jobs-out-of-college and left New York City, where we'd spent two years living in apartments with more roommates than bedrooms, trading stories of awkward first dates and job interviews (how different are they, really?). We moved back to our respective hometowns and started a zine called Before the Mortgage to explore the rite of passage we were undergoing: the school-to-work transition. We wrote essays, compiled quotes, and created photo collages about such topics as crazy coworkers, so-called relationships, and moving back in with our folks.

When our parents were our age, they were already married. Most people they knew didn't live far from where they grew up, and they expected to have one lifelong career. In contrast, our friends are pairing off later and later, and they hop from coast to coast, career to career. (The two of us have changed addresses five times in the past five years.) What we thought was going to be a short transitional period turned out to be a new life stage.

The zine helped us answer the pressing questions of an unstable time: where to live, what to do, who to love, how to be, and when to leave. How else could we make sense of a world in which Rachel snuck into the mailroom at Jane magazine trying to get a job (no dice) and Christina went out with a guy she didn't like only because her apartment didn't have heat (his car had butt warmers)? Before the Mortgage's readers and writers found solidarity in vulnerability; by telling candid stories, we could laugh at the missteps and learn from each other.

In putting together this essay collection, we selected a few beloved pieces from the zine and sought contributions from our favorite young writers: people who voiced fresh insights when reflecting on the issues facing nascent adults. Whether writing about unglamorous temp work or finding the It Guy, they spoke to us, they challenged us, and they made us laugh out loud. To use the words of E. M. Forster, our contributors are "sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke."

So you see, Before the Mortgage has little to do with actually obtaining a mortgage, but more to do with exploring your own vision/version/definition of what it means to be an adult. Those of you who are currently packing up, quitting jobs, breaking up, and breaking down, this book is for you. But those of you making mortgage payments or not yet paying rent shouldn't feel excluded. If you're questioning your place in it all, you're before the mortgage at heart.

— Christina Amini and Rachel Hutton

Copyright © 2006 by Christina Amini and Rachel Hutton

Read More

Meet the Author

Friends and collaborators Rachel Hutton and Christina Amini started the zine Before the Mortgage after leaving their first nine-to-five jobs in New York. Christina is an associate editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Rachel, an editor and writer for Minnesota Monthly, lives in Minneapolis.

Friends and collaborators Rachel Hutton and Christina Amini started the zine Before the Mortgage after leaving their first nine-to-five jobs in New York. Christina is an associate editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Rachel, an editor and writer for Minnesota Monthly, lives in Minneapolis.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >