In her latest book, the essayist is skeptical of #MeToo and nostalgic for the era before the Internet.
The writer Meghan Daum has told her life story in her books. She documented her salad days of debt and dating in New York in “My Misspent Youth.” She novelized the story of an idealistic move to Nebraska in “The Quality of Life Report.” In “Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House,” she described moving to Los Angeles and buying her first home. In “The Unspeakable,” she wrote about the death of her mother, an illness that almost killed her, and her decision not to have children.
In 2015, Daum separated from her husband and moved from Los Angeles to New York, a city she had left some fifteen years before. Confronting divorce and passing into her late forties, she began a descent along “a downward slope of my youth that was far steeper than I had any grasp of at the time.” She was spending a lot of time on the Internet—by her own reckoning, “three-quarters of my waking hours”—when Donald Trump took office. “By the time #MeToo reached full force,” she continues, “my brain no longer felt connected to my body.”