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The American literary canon isn’t short on nightmarish Thanksgiving scenes, but I think the cringiest Thanksgiving I’ve ever read about appears at the climax of Kiley Reid’s witty and biting debut novel, Such a Fun Age.
That Thanksgiving begins with white liberal mom-fluencer Alix lying awake the night before dinner, proudly counting in her head the number of Black guests she’ll have at her table. There will be five of them, one of whom is her daughter’s babysitter. But unbeknownst to Alix (pronounced uh-leeks; notably, she is not French), someone else is going to arrive at her Thanksgiving dinner — an ex-boyfriend who once witnessed her do something that Alix feels perfectly justified in doing, but which she acknowledges could make some people think that she is racist. Everything will spiral from there.
If you’d like to experience this Thanksgiving dinner in its full horror, join the Vox Book Club as we spend November digging into the smart racial politics and social satire of Such a Fun Age. Then, at the end of the month, we’ll be meeting Reid live on Zoom, and you can RSVP here. In the meantime, subscribe to the Vox Book Club newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The full Vox Book Club schedule for November 2021
Friday, November 19: Discussion post on Such a Fun Age published to Vox.com
Tuesday, November 30, 5 pm Eastern: Virtual live event with author Kiley Reid. RSVP here. Reader questions are encouraged!