‘Worry’ is a disturbing and honest picture of what it’s like to be in your 20s

By Ailsa Chang, Alejandra Marquez Janse, and Justine Kenin
Alexandra Tanner's debut novel centers two sisters in their 20s struggling with the love, anxieties and truths that they hold about each other.
Alexandra Tanner’s debut novel centers two sisters in their 20s struggling with the love, anxieties and truths that they hold about each other.

Your 20s are often painted as the greatest decade, but what’s less talked about is how brutal those years can also be. There is pressure to declare who we are, uncertainty about what that even means, and confusion about what we want.

That is the case for two sisters in their 20s at the center of Alexandra Tanner’s debut novel, Worry. Jules and Poppy Gold end up becoming roommates in New York City, and they torture each other with their anxieties, despair and truths. It’s a portrait of sisterly love that’s both hilarious and disturbing.

Tanner spoke to All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang about how she tried to capture the complexities of the decade and sisterhood in this book.

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This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Interview highlights

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