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
Meticulously researched... astutely observed... extremely enlightening
Urgent and insightful book... Read this and get a much-needed perspective
An intelligent and well-researched analysis... [To those] born into the same generation, its truth is searing
A readable, well-researched guide to a generation... Petersen commendably refuses her burnt-out millennial readers any inspirational uplift. Ours is not a dilemma that will be solved by more hard work or more positive thinking or more degrees
The author is astute in unpicking the many factors that led to a whole generation feeling constantly exhausted... Can't Even is comforting in its insistence that it's not your fault you feel this tired... genuinely enlightening... Can't Even is a reminder to the burned out generation that things can be different
Relevant to everyone living under capitalism
Whether you're looking for solutions or just looking to feel seen, Can't Even is a can't-miss
Reading this incredible book, I had the overwhelming feeling of someone arranging the chaotic fragments of my life into a cohesive whole. Can't Even felt like a field guide, a mirror, and an absolution. Compassionate, wise, and incisive, it is a defining work about a generation defined by work
[A] razor sharp book of cultural criticism...With blistering prose and all-too vivid reporting, Petersen lays bare the burnout and despair of millennials, while also charting a path to a world where members of her generation can feel as if the boot has been removed from their necks
We think of capitalism as a way of organizing an economy. But given enough time, it goes beyond that: It organizes our lives, our hopes, our relationships. Anne Helen Petersen has written an analytically precise, deeply empathic book about the psychic toll modern capitalism has taken on those shaped by it. Can't Even is essential to understanding our age, and ourselves
Understanding issues such as depression, anxiety and burnout can be an important first step to coping during difficult times, and helping others do the same. Here is a selection of books that offer clarity and insight into important areas of well-being.