‘All Adults Here’ by Emma Straub: The Politics of Respectability

by Cade Johnson

Emma Straub’s delightful third novel, All Adults Here (368 pages; Riverhead Books), takes place in Clapham, a fictional Hudson Valley town. It’s a small, white, and affluent community that is both a getaway for New Yorkers and a reservoir for elite Brooklynite culture. A roundabout sits in the center of town (a commercial hotspot where an obtrusive, geometric, and vacant building houses a threat: the possibility of a chain store opening in Clapham). Residents circle through downtown like clockwork until one day a school bus kills longtime resident Barbara Baker right before matriarch Astrid Strick’s eyes, sending atriggering repressed memory […]

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