Kiley Reid’s Novel Is About Race and Class and Other People’s Children
“Such a Fun Age” explores the toll of emotional labor on a black babysitter. “I like the idea of all of these people freaking out,” she says.
By Concepción de León Dec. 28, 2019, 5:00 a.m. ET
For six years in her 20s, Kiley Reid spent most of her days with toddlers — wiping chins, cutting crusts off bread, remembering their favorite songs.
“The reward of being with the same family and watching a child grow for four or five years was really wonderful,” Reid, now 32, said of her time as a babysitter. But the experience also got her thinking about how race and class interact in transactional relationships, and what it means to sell emotional labor.
Reid explores these questions in her debut novel, “Such a Fun Age,” out Tuesday. Reid’s book, for which Lena Waithe has already bought the screen rights, revolves around the intersecting lives of Alix, a privileged white mom in Philadelphia; Emira, her 25-year-old black babysitter; and Kelley, a white man Emira ends up dating. An incident in the beginning of the book, when a stranger accuses Emira of kidnapping Alix’s toddler, sets off a series of events that force the characters to reckon with their biases.Read the entire article HERE.