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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Panic Years

The Panic Years

Dates, Doubts, and the Mother of All Decisions

Nell Frizzell

Flatiron Books

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Renowned journalist Nell Frizzell explores what happens when a woman begins to ask herself: should I have a baby?

We have descriptors for many periods of life—adolescence, menopause, mid-life crisis, quarter-life crisis—but there is a period of profound change that many women face, often in their late twenties to early forties, that does not yet have a name.

Nell Frizzell is calling this period of flux “the panic years,” and it is often characterized by a preoccupation with one major question: should I have a baby? And from there—do I want a baby? With whom should I have a baby? How will I know when I’m ready?

Decisions made during this period suddenly take on more weight, as questions of love, career, friendship, fertility, and family clash together while peers begin the process of coupling and breeding. But this very important process is rarely written or talked about beyond the clichés of the “ticking clock.”

Enter Frizzell, our comforting guide, who uses personal stories from her own experiences in the panic years to illuminate the larger social and cultural trends, and gives voice to the uncertainty, confusion, and urgency that tends to characterize this time of life.

Frizzell reminds us that we are not alone in this, and encourages us to share our experiences and those of the women around us—as she does with honesty and vulnerability in these pages. Raw and hilarious, The Panic Years is an arm around the shoulder for every woman trying to navigate life’s big decisions aga… More…

Renowned journalist Nell Frizzell explores what happens when a woman begins to ask herself: should I have a baby?

We have descriptors for many periods of life—adolescence, menopause, mid-life crisis, quarter-life crisis—but there is a period of profound change that many women face, often in their late twenties to early forties, that does not yet have a name.

Nell Frizzell is calling this period of flux “the panic years,” and it is often characterized by a preoccupation with one major question: should I have a baby? And from there—do I want a baby? With whom should I have a baby? How will I know when I’m ready?

Decisions made during this period suddenly take on more weight, as questions of love, career, friendship, fertility, and family clash together while peers begin the process of coupling and breeding. But this very important process is rarely written or talked about beyond the clichés of the “ticking clock.”

Enter Frizzell, our comforting guide, who uses personal stories from her own experiences in the panic years to illuminate the larger social and cultural trends, and gives voice to the uncertainty, confusion, and urgency that tends to characterize this time of life.

Frizzell reminds us that we are not alone in this, and encourages us to share our experiences and those of the women around us—as she does with honesty and vulnerability in these pages. Raw and hilarious, The Panic Years is an arm around the shoulder for every woman trying to navigate life’s big decisions against the backdrop of the mother of all questions.

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Nell Frizzell

Nell Frizzell is a freelance journalist who writes a column for Vogue and also writes for the Guardian, Elle, Vice, Buzzfeed, the Independent, the Observer, and the Telegraph. She is best known for features and columns on gender, pregnancy, and parenting, and she has been featured several times on various BBC programs. In addition to journalism, Nell has written and performed comedy and works as a lifeguard. She lives in London with her partner and child.

image of Nell Frizzello
Bekky Lonsdale

Read Articles by the Author at the Guardian