Private Citizens: A Novel (Paperback)

Private Citizens: A Novel By Tony Tulathimutte Cover Image

Private Citizens: A Novel (Paperback)


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“Scathing, upsetting and generous all at once, this novel, about millennial friends in pre-2008-crash San Francisco, thrums with Tulathimutte’s sly intelligence and unerring comic timing. . . . The warm flashes make the satire cut deeper.” The New York Times, “The Funniest Novels Since Catch-22” 

"One of the really phenomenal novels I've read in the last decade." —Jonathan Franzen

From a brilliant new literary talent comes a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco. With the social acuity of Adelle Waldman and the murderous wit of Martin Amis, Tony Tulathimutte’s Private Citizens is a brainy, irreverent debut—This Side of Paradise for a new era.

Capturing the anxious, self-aware mood of young college grads in the aughts, Private Citizens embraces the contradictions of our new century: call it a loving satire. A gleefully rude comedy of manners. Middlemarch for Millennials. The novel's four whip-smart narrators—idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda—are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again. 

A wise and searching depiction of a generation grappling with privilege and finding grace in failure, Private Citizens is as expansively intelligent as it is full of heart.

Tony Tulathimutte is the author of Private Citizens and Rejection. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, n +1, The Nation, The New Republic, and The New York Times. The recipient of an O. Henry Award and a Whiting Award, he runs the writing class CRIT in Brooklyn. 

“Scathing, upsetting and generous all at once, this novel, about millennial friends in pre-2008-crash San Francisco, thrums with Tulathimutte’s sly intelligence and unerring comic timing. . . . The warm flashes make the satire cut deeper: Tulathimutte loves these imperfect young humans while seeing them for who they are.” — The New York Times, “The Funniest Novels Since Catch-22” 

Private Citizens is a brilliant novel--whip-smart, hilarious, and entirely engrossing.” — Emma Cline, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls

“The first great millennial novel.” — New York magazine

“It may well be time that we start asking whose writing will populate the ‘millennial canon.’ Tony Tulathimutte’s debut novel, Private Citizens, is the answer to that question.” — Village Voice

“This season, my literary accessory choice is Tony Tulathimutte’s Private Citizens.” — Vogue

“If Evelyn Waugh and Tom Wolfe had a baby, one who wrote sensibly about the subset of people that Dave Eggers has written about whimsically, that baby would probably be Tony Tulathimutte.” — Andrew Jimenez, Paris Review

Private Citizens is the product of a whirring intellect with brilliance to burn...Reading Tony Tulathimutte is like watching a mad genius at work in his laboratory, conjuring the magnificent and the monstrous into life.” — Anthony Marra, New York Times-bestselling author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

“We know millennials as bogeychildren of alarmist trend pieces and the catchall hand-wringing of an aging commentariat. Tulathimutte is on the front line of writers showing that they’re also worthy heroes and heroines of the American novel.” — Vulture

“Excellent.” — Time magazine

“Tony Tulathimutte’s brilliant debut novel is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once--a spot-on, satifical portrait of modern San Francisco and the privilege that inhabits it...Brimming with wit and heart, Private Citizens is an impressive debut from a sharp new voice.” — Buzzfeed

Private Citizens is a combustible combination of acrobatic language, dead-on observations and hilarious, heartbreaking storytelling. Tulathimutte has created characters that are hard to forget--first they’ll make you want to strangle them, then you’ll end up falling in love with them.” — Angela Flournoy, National Book Award finalist and author of The Turner House

“[A] razor-sharp debut...Witty, unsparing, and unsettlingly precise, Tulathimutte empathizes with his subjects even as he (brilliantly) skewers them. A satirical portrait of privilege and disappointment with striking emotional depth.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A hilarious and gutsy novel that does the braver thing, reinvesting the world we know with humanity. Tony Tulathimutte’s satire cuts deep, bur has a tender belly--and this book will leave you raw with feeling and aching at the ribs.” — Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine

“Tony Tulathimutte is a virtuoso of words... [his] writing edifies and entertains in language that’s highbrow yet unwholesome-gourmet junk food, like the cereal-milk-flavored soft-serve at Momofuku Milk Bar.” —

Private Citizens is a freak of literature--a novel so authentic, hilarious, elegantly plotted, and heartbreaking that I’d follow it anywhere. Tony Tulathimutte is a singular intellect with an uncanny 40/20 vision on the world.” — Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes

“Tony Tulathimutte writes sentences with a reckless verve that reminds one of the best of David Foster Wallace. He’s a major American talent.” — Karan Mahajan, author of Family Planning and The Association of Small Bombs

“Tony Tulathimutte’s militantly ironic debut novel, Private Citizens, is set in San Francisco during a golden hour for upper millennials...[It] takes its title as a paradox, or as a challenge...The one thing the novel can still do better than other art forms is represent inner life...Tulathimutte’s realism tends to be hysterical as in ha ha...I was riddled by Tulathimutte’s ending.” — Sarah Nicole Prickett in Bookforum

“This season, my literary accessory of choice is Tony Tulathimutte’s Private Citizens.” — Maya Singer,