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Amy Dong's debut essay collection Twenty-One Years Young offers a sentimental, humorous, and honest reflection of what it means to grow up.

This essay collection explores subjects such as recovering from a near-death experience, debating politics at the dinner table, the value of rejection, and the significance of traveling alone. With honest, intimate, and vividly descriptive prose, twenty-one-year-young Amy Dong articulates how even the most unexpected moments of life can be meaningful because they are our own.

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vivian giang.jfif

Vivian Giang,
The New York Times

Amy Dong's essays are coming-of-age snapshots, with all of the promises and heartbreaks that come with growing up. The essay "So it Goes" is a deeply personal story about recovery, and "He Means Well" is a tale of how dreams from a past generation nestle and wrestle within the next generation. Dong's honesty is refreshing and, at times, gut-wrenching, and serves as a reminder to young adults that life is beautiful, no matter how messy growing up can be.

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