Synopses & Reviews
From boom to bust, the 1990s were the most momentous decade since the '60s. Framed by the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the World Trade Center, the final decade of the twentieth century began in ecstatic optimism and ended in dire uncertainty.
In What Really Happened to the Class of ‘93, author Chris Colin reacquaints himself with members of his high school class ten years after they graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and stepped out into a world of great promise. When this D.C.-area class graduated, the Internet was a flicker on the horizon, globalization was exploding under President Clinton, and a sense of possibility filled the country. These graduates were entering a moment of historic opportunity. Ten years later, everything has changed. From Monica Lewinsky to the economic downturn to 9/11, the nation now reverberates with confusion, turmoil, and loss. Through his classmates’ intensely personal stories from this decade, Colin presents an intimate and engaging portrait of a generation in the midst of transformation.
What Really Happened to the Class of '93 introduces readers to the lives of seventeen Americans, including the homecoming queen turned Rhodes scholar; the discipline case (suspended for bringing a gun to school) who now tests weapons for the government; a teen mother struggling to give her son a good childhood; and a misanthrope who discovered a happier life. . . as a woman.
Between portraits, Colin examines the milestones of the decade–from the dot-com bubble to shifting notions of morality and tolerance. What emerges is an arresting picture of an extraordinary era.
"Chris Colin, one of his generation's most talented new voices, offers us a look at his class of '93 that is alternately funny, dismaying, touching and inspiring." David Talbot, Founder and Editor in Chief, Salon.com
"With this book, Chris Colin exorcises the demons of high school, something we all wish we'd done a long time ago. Is it already appropriate to write nostalgically about 1993? Lord, I'm old." Neal Pollack, author of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature and Never Mind The Pollacks
"The question of how to live a good life is up for grabs and that makes the stories told in What Really Happened to the Class of '93 so damn interesting....Colin does us all a service by avoiding the standard stereotypes and giving his generation new and complex stories to tell." Ethan Watters, author of Urban Tribes: A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family and Commitment
"An intriguing portrait of a diverse group of people; Gen-Xers facing their own reunions will be drawn in." Booklist
"Colin is a skilled writer and makes these profiles of unknown people surprisingly interesting. Unfortunately, Colin's interpretation of his reunion and his friends isn't strong enough to make this compelling social history." Publishers Weekly
Through his classmates' intensely personal stories from a decade defined by Monica Lewinsky, economic downturn and 9/11, Colin presents an arresting picture of an extraordinary era.
About the Author
CHRIS COLIN is a former editor and writer for Salon.com. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, McSweeney’s, a number of anthologies, and other publications. He lives in San Francisco.