Literature about people in their twenties

Talk20-Something LibraryThingers

Join LibraryThing to post.

Literature about people in their twenties

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Sep 3, 2010, 10:20am

Is it just me or have you also found that most novels are either based on high schoolers or people in their 30s? I'm trying to think of protagonists in their twenties and the only one I can come up with was Jane Austen's Emma (22, I think). That can't be all, HELP!

Edited: Sep 8, 2010, 10:41am

Hey, what about Persuasion? Anne was 27, I think. Or was it her sister Elizabeth who was 27? Or 29? Can't remember for certain.
And Emma was almost 21 when the story starts, that I do remember clearly, whereas Emma is my favorite Austen novel. :-)

But you have a good point: there isn't much literature about twentysomething main characters. Out of the top of my head, I can only think of Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, some assorted characters in Agatha Christie's novels, and... hmm... maybe Harlequin novels? Ouch.

Does anyone else remember any other main characters around our age range? Please?

Sep 22, 2010, 1:14pm

Sure! There's the Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson. Lisbeth is in her early 20's - though she's not really a "normal" 20 something year old.

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield follows Sheffield in his 20's in the 90's. (Really good, kind of sad.)

On the chick lit side, Sophie Kinsella has some books that feature 20-somethings.

Umm...let's see. I know Ian McEwan has some books with 20-sometimes. Atonement and On Chesil Beach come to mind.

You just have to do some digging. :)

Sep 29, 2010, 8:20am

Tess of the D'Urbervilles? Though I don't know Tess's official age, she couldn't have been older than mid twenties.

Jan 27, 2012, 4:43pm

Errant Intern has two twenty-something main characters who have to deal with the issues of choosing a path in life and deciding on who they want to be. Just beyond the issues of high schoolers.

Jan 27, 2012, 11:26pm

I think all of Jane Austen's heroines are somewhere along in their 20's, except maybe Catherine Moreland, she seems more like late teens to me.

Jan 30, 2012, 9:21pm

You might want to check out this Goodreads list: It's specifically for books with college-aged characters (in the category becoming known as "New Adult"). Hope that helps!

Also, if anyone's interested, I'm hosting a "New Adult" reading challenge this year to encourage people to read more books in this category and to raise awareness of this overlooked demographic in the blogosphere. If you'd like to check it out, details are here:

Join to post