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Kayleen Schaefer Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Fade Out (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Text Me When You Get Home (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
But You're Still So Young (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kayleen Schaefer is a journalist and author best known for author the bestselling literary fiction novel “Text Me When You Get Home.” Upon publication, the novel was praised as timely, essential, nimble and witty by publications such as Buzzfeed, Elle, NPR, The Washington Post, Bustle, and the New York Times among many others. Kayleen works a day job as a journalist and her work has been featured in the likes of Vogue, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair among many others. She got her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and her master’s from Northwestern University before she went on to work as editor, staff writer, reporter and producer for several publications in the US. She currently makes her home in New York City. “Text Me When You Get Home” her debut novel was first published in 2018.

Schaefer who spent much of her childhood in Grapevine never felt much of a connection to her female friends and hence her debut was a surprise particularly to herself. When she was growing up in Texas, girls were supposed to be the cheerleaders and boys played football. While it was not said, there was a vibe that implied that guys were more capable and girls were there to support them. This was an experience she believed was common for many women across the US and the Western world. However, she thinks that as women grow older, they discover their strength and potential, they find soul mates and make friends. Kayleen started rebelling against the notions that girls are mean people out to break other people crowns or princesses to be pined after. In the research for her debut novel, she went on to interview more than 100 subjects about their relationships with mentors, girl squads and best friends. What she wanted to learn was the text me trend that she had and thought was popular in the urban culture she lived in.

The inspiration for Kayleen Schaefer’s debut novel came from her reflecting on two phases in her life. As a teenager and young adult working in New York she had not had many female friends. In school she had cutthroat competition for guys and for grades among other things with other girls. She had believed that was how the world worked until she got into her twenties. She got a job working for a Men’s magazine and started acting like one of the guys as she thought that was how she was going to get ahead. But fast forward to her thirties and she realized that the people she loved being around and depended upon for her well being were her women friends. They were something of a support system and she believes most of the women she knows have something similar. But there were not any works of fiction or even nonfiction that explored these relationships and this is what she wanted to do. In “Text Me When You Get Home” she intended to assert that female friendships are just as important as any other relationship in a woman’s life.

In “Text Me When You Get Home” by Kayleen Schaefer, the author asserts that women have always been told that they suck at friendship. They cannot help but be competitive or cruel and that they ultimately abandon their best friends for their romantic partners. However, this work is an attempt at reclaiming the power of women’s friendship and debunking the stereotypes. Through interviews of more than 100 women she asked questions about relationships with girl gangs, BFFs, queens and soul mates and traces this from the perspective of popular culture. She asserts that female love is reflected in the likes of Galentine’s Day, Ilana and Abbi, Moly and Issa, #squadgoals, and the acclaim of Big Little Lies and Girls Trip. Schaefer also includes her history of trying to understand and rely on men to achieve things when her strong tribe of women provided much of the support she needed. She tells a personal story of celebration of personal relationships and how female friendship has evolved over time. The novel is a deeply reported, heartfelt and thoughtful story of women that take a stand for female friendships.

Kayleen Schaefer’s “Fade Out” is the story of Schaefer who is trying to find her missing small brother. As a child she had been very close with Jarrett her brother. They had been inseparable and would do everything together against the world and their parents. As they grew into their teenage years and young adulthood, their bond strengthened even more. They lived together and had a brilliant and dizzying time as Schaefer began climbing the ranks in her career as a journo. Meanwhile, Jarrett was also working on his directorial debut but once the film came out, he started acting very differently. By this time he was living in Los Angeles but he had not gotten into the Hollywood lifestyle but rather he was moving away from everything to do with it. Schaefer could feel that she was losing her brother that for the longest time had felt a natural part of her. He seems to be rejecting the comfortable success that was clearly in his destiny. But then things get really bad when he disappears into thin air. This is a story of how Schaefer tries to locate Jarrett emotionally and geographically.

But You Are Still So Young by Kayleen Schaefer is a fun work that is centered about major life events. According to sociologists, the five markers that signify one has become an adult are in no particular order; gaining financial independence, finishing school, marriage, leaving home and having children. But according to Schaefer, the signifiers in the modern age have changed due to fertility treatments, decreasing marriages rates, economic crises, rising debt and a more open minded society and all these have resulted in a different timeline. In the past, one had to have been done with most of the steps by thirty five but this is no longer the case. Many Americans are achieving the milestones much later as they exercise the increased freedom to enter into relationships, have children or switch careers, all of which shape their futures. As such, she asks if we should still measure adulthood by the measures that were set half a century ago. The novel highlights each of the milestones and the women and men that come from different backgrounds as they navigate changing societal expectations and an ever shifting financial landscape.

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