One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2019
A journey through the many ways to live an artistic life - from the flashy and famous to the quiet and steady - full of unexpected insights about creativity and contentment, from the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost.
Rachel Friedman was a serious violist as a kid. She quit music in college but never stopped fantasizing about what her life might be like if she had never put down her bow. Years later, a freelance writer in New York, she again finds herself struggling with her fantasy of an artist’s life versus its much more complicated reality. In search of answers, she decides to track down her childhood friends from Interlochen, a prestigious arts camp she attended, full of aspiring actors, artists, dancers, and musicians, to find out how their early creative ambitions have translated into adult careers, relationships, and identities.
Rachel’s conversations with these men and women spark nuanced revelations about creativity and being an artist: that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, that success isn’t always linear, that sometimes it’s okay to quit. And Then We Grew Up is for anyone who has given up a childhood dream and wondered, "What if?", for those who have aspired to do what they love and had doubts along the way, and for all whose careers fall somewhere between emerging and established. Warm, whip-smart, and insightful, it offers inspiration for finding creative fulfillment wherever we end up in life.
“As kids, we’re told to follow our passions. But that vague advice often doesn’t align with the economic realities of getting by in the so-called adult world. How can a person still live an artistic life, even if it doesn’t quite align with childhood expectations? Once a serious violinist, Rachel Friedman...interviews her cohort of campers at Interlochen Arts Camp to see how their own dreams unfolded, and what they’ve done with their creative ambition. A must-read for anyone who has, well, grown up.” (Refinery29)
“Do you make resolutions for New Year’s Eve? Before you do, go out and grab Rachel Friedman’s new book, And Then We Grew Up.... I recommend both of her books [And Then We Grew Up and The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost]...as you begin a new decade!” (Ms. Magazine)
"Insightful...ably illustrates many forms creativity can take.... Anyone who’s ever looked back longingly at an old passion and wondered what might have been will find an empathetic friend in Friedman." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)