Anne Helen Petersen

Can't Even
  • Can't Even

  • An incendiary personal and cultural investigation of burnout

    "Meticulously researched... astutely observed... extremely enlightening" Guardian

    "Urgent and insightful book... Read this and get a much-needed perspective" Stylist

    Are you tired, stressed and trying your best but somehow still not doing enough? Has the bottom half of your To Do list been locked in place for months? Is everything becoming work as your job seeps into your evenings, you monetise your hobbies and perform your leisure time on social media?

    This is burnout - what increasingly like the defining feature of our lives. We are exhausted. But burnout is not a personal failing. It is a creeping part of modern culture, shaped by deep-rooted political, historical and economic forces, and it is affecting how we work, parent, socialise and inhabit the world.

    Anne Helen Petersen identifies burnout with moving clarity - what it feels like and how it manifests across communities. Through her own experience, original interviews and detailed analysis, she traces the institutional and generational causes of burnout. And, in doing so, she helps us to let go of our guilt and imagine a possible future.

    Reassuring, insightful and galvanising, Can't Even is essential reading for all of us.

    "A readable, well-researched guide to a generation" The Times

    "Genuinely enlightening... Can't Even is a reminder to the burned out generation that things can be different" Observer

A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News, Anne Helen Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured in NPR, Elle, and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

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