Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults [NOOK Book]

Overview

Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir.



Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything ...
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Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults

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Overview

Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir.



Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns.



Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood.
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  • Graduates in Wonderland
    Graduates in Wonderland  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/21/2014
In 2007, with degrees from Brown in hand, good friends Pan and Kapelke-Dale decide to travel and commit to send each other lively, funny weekly emails about their highs and lows during their three years of globe-trotting. Pan jets off to China, making Beijing her new home where she intends to learn Mandarin and get a toehold in journalism. She fumbles her way through romances as well as well as jobs, and tries to figure out a culture where Facebook and YouTube are banned. Pan conveys everything honestly, despite knowing the government is reading her emails. Kapelke-Dale lands in New York and also grapples with being out of the cocoon of college, encountering a terrible boss and an even worse potential boyfriend who takes her pulse after sex to see if she had faked her enthusiasm. Similarly, she doesn't hold back as she experiences newfound panic attacks and gets help via a therapist. Although the authors don't go into great detail about the origins of their relationship or how they decided to embark on their correspondence pledge, the tight and supportive bond of their female friendship comes through. Agent: Allison Hunter, Inkwell Management. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-18
Two best friends and fellow Brown University graduates deliver a candid epistolary account of their postgrad adventures "down the rabbit hole" of the real world. Just before BFFs Pan and Kapelke-Dale graduated from college, they made a pact to stay in touch via email and give each other all the details of their post-collegiate lives. Jobless but hopeful, Pan went to Beijing to have an adventure and learn Mandarin. In the meantime, Kapelke-Dale began working for a narcissistic art gallery owner in Manhattan since New York City was "just where you were supposed to go after college." Excited and intimidated by adulthood and also deeply uncertain about their futures, both young women fumbled through their lives. After a stint as an underpaid peon in a Chinese PR firm, Pan found work as an editor at a Beijing magazine for English-speaking expatriates. In New York, Kapelke-Dale moved into a better job at a nonprofit art gallery, but that soon became a dead end. As Pan navigated the tricky realm of love and sex with colleagues, Kapelke-Dale tried to work through unresolved romantic issues with old flames. Pan's path led her to a charming Englishman and a life "ultimatum": commitment or footloose singledom. For her friend, the choice boiled down to facing her fears and taking a risk to leave NYC for life and graduate study abroad in France and then England. Told in two genuinely winning voices, the book presents a unique view of what it means to come of age as educated females in the chaos of a modern transnational world. Young women just starting out on their own "adventures in wonderland" will find it especially appealing. At the same time, however, older women may also enjoy the way this narrative celebrates the sustaining power of committed woman-to-woman friendship. A female buddy book with intergenerational appeal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698157200
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 48,997
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Jessica Pan has a BA in Psychology and Literary Arts from Brown University.  She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She was the editor of a magazine and a TV reporter in Beijing and has written for The Hairpin and The Toast.

 

Rachel Kapelke-Dale is pursuing a PhD in cinematographic studies at University College London. She has a BA in History of Art and Architecture and Comparative Literature from Brown University and a master’s in Cinema Studies from the Université de Paris VII.



Both authors live in London.



 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    I loved this book!  The friendship between Rachel and Jess is so

    I loved this book!  The friendship between Rachel and Jess is so strong, in fact they can tell each other anything without  being judged by the other. I read the book while on a road trip and I found the time just to fly by!  
    Very honest, funny and at time tears, believe me you won't be able to put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    This book should be considered MANDATORY reading for all 20-so

    This book should be considered MANDATORY reading for all 20-somethings and post-grads. As someone who is trying to figure out those post college years I related a lot to the voices of Jessica and Rachel. Jessica and Rachel are best friends from college and on the night of their graduation they make a pact to send an e-mail to each other once a week of a no-holds barred account of what's going on in their life. (I wish I would of thought of the same-thing when I graduated in college.)

    Jess takes off for Beijing and Rachel sets off to NY. Jess doesn't speak Mandarin or have a job but flies off to Beijing anyway. Rachel has a job at an art gallery in NYC. The adventures they get into, their jobs, the people they run into along the way really paint the picture of two 20-something girls finding their way in this world. They both are incredibly courageous and take incredible risks that I think at the time they didn't realize the enormity of those decisions. I don't want to spoil anything but you will laugh and cry in the best possibly way.It really is incredible considering the fact that they both lived so far away from each other for so long such as Jessica in China and Australia and Rachel in NYC and Paris that they were really able to maintain the closeness that they had in college. Over a 5-year span theses BFF's only saw each other twice. In there ever changing world of relocations, new jobs, grad schools, and boyfriends their friendship remained constant. I truly believe it is so important to maintain friendships because there are very few people in this world who know you they way your college friends do.

    There is nothing else like this book on the market. While growing up you always have a plan. For example, you go to high school and then you go to college and there's a lot of preparation that goes into the transition from high school senior to college freshman. But where is that preparation from college senior to post-grad? There really isn't any. This is the first time in our young adult lives where we have no idea what's next for us? It's a little terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Rachel and Jess capture these moments beautifully.

    I LOVE this book so much that I'm actually thinking about reading it again as I write this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Great read! Very well written and an exciting story of rich frie

    Great read! Very well written and an exciting story of rich friendship and living in different parts of the world. I highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    This is a great read - very funny and bitingly honest. It's extr

    This is a great read - very funny and bitingly honest. It's extremely well written and captures both life in the early-to-mid twenties and the dreams of adventure that lead anyone to hop on a plane and explore exotic lands far from home.

    The friendship between these two promising young authors also jumps off the page - it's pure reading joy.

    It's incredibly honest and touching too, a real life snapshot of these two young lives unravelling over a few years and many countries as they figure out what they want to do and where and with who they want to be. I highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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