Quart’s gift as a writer is her ability to report on the experiences of ordinary people, following their realistically messy lives for years, offering us vivid portraits that are profoundly humane... A brilliant move.
— The New York Times Book Review




Why Our Families Can't Afford America

By Alissa Quart


Squeezed weaves together original research and reporting to investigate how the high costs of American parenthood have bankrupted the middle class, and examines solutions that might help families across the country.

See Alissa on tour for Squeezed



Barnes & Noble




Reviews of SQueezed

Jul. 2018 | "The vanishing middle class," BookPage

Jun. 2018 | "For the struggling middle class, Alissa Quart has a message: you're not alone," The Guardian

Jun. 2018 | "The decline of America's middle classes," Financial Times

Jun. 2018 | "All the Great Books to Read This June," Nylon

Jun. 2018 | "BitchReads: 15 Books Feminists Should Read in June," BITCH

Jun. 2018 | "10 best books of June: the Monitor's picks," The Christian Science Monitor

Jun. 2018 | "Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America," Publishers Weekly

Jun. 2018 | "Fighting to stay in the middle class," Kirkus Reviews

May 2018 | "22 New Books to Read This Summer," Time

Dec. 2017 | "50 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018," Nylon

Dec. 2017 | "Spring 2018 Announcements: Politics & Current Events," Publishers Weekly

A vivid prose stylist, Quart makes powerfully real what happens when those who were once middle class can now only window shop for the American Dream. She also offers crucial collective plans to get us out of our anguishing binds.
— Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Combining vivid, lively reporting on the struggles of parents and keen analysis on the public sector’s shameful neglect of an almost universal need, this is the first examination of parenthood to be thoroughly rooted in America’s changing class contours. Elegantly written and deeply curious, Squeezed offers both brilliant insights and possible solutions.
— Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
If you’ve ever felt the pinch of financial anxiety—and chances are you have—read this book now. Alissa Quart will help you realize that you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. Squeezed is profound, a sweeping, blistering portrait of hard-working people from all walks of life. It’s a rousing wake up call that also points the way forward to a more equitable, expansive future.
— Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age
It’s not often that you can call a densely reported work of literary non-fiction about economic inequality a riveting page-turner, but Squeezed is just that.
— The Guardian
Reminiscent of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed . . . will resonate with those feeling squeezed, and inform those who are not.
— Library Journal
A thoughtful, enlightening and painful analysis of the ever-growing divide in the American economy.
— BookPage
‘Squeezed’ paints a vivid portrait of struggling professionals...[it delivers] colour, and the stories of a falling down middle class reflect a felt experience of anxiety that is often lost in data-driven tales of recession and recovery....Quart is particularly sharp on behavioural psychology and the economics of class.
— Financial Times
What Alissa Quart does so beautifully is weave together textured, compelling portraits of individual families with big ideas. Read this important book to understand the challenges your own family faces in parenting, housing, planning for the future—and read it to find out what to do about them!
— Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Don’t Call Me Princess
[Quart’s] ambitious, top-tier reportage tells a powerful story of America today.
— Publishers Weekly
In this highly thoughtful and compassionate account, [Quart] describes the forces that are making the traditional aspects of the “American Dream” out of reach for many Americans. . . . Well-written, wide-ranging, and vital to understanding American life today.
— Kirkus Reviews
A compassionate, thoughtful examination of the economic struggles faced today by America’s middle class.
— Christian Science Monitor, "10 Best Books of June"
Squeezed, like Nickel and Dimed . . . is worth reading if you’re invested in better understanding poverty in America.
— BITCH, "15 Books Feminists should read in June"


Republic of Outsiders

Republic of Outsiders is about the growing number of Americans who disrupt the status quo: outsiders who seek to redefine a wide variety of fields. They include professional and amateur filmmakers crowd-sourcing their work, transgender and autistic activists, and Occupy Wall Street’s “alternative bankers.” These people push the boundaries of who they can be and what they can do, even turning the forces of co-optation to their benefit. Republic of Outsiders is a critical examination of those for whom being rebellious, marginal, or amateur is a source of strength rather than weakness.


Reviews of Republic of Outsiders

Nov. 2013 | "Gate Crashers," The New York Times

Aug. 2013 | "3 Creative Lessons from the Amateurs, Rebels, and Dreamers of Outsider Subcultures," Fast Company

Aug. 2013 | "Brilliant" and "highbrow" quadrant of the Approval Matrix, New York Magazine

May 2013 | Starred review and Book of the Week for Publishers Weekly

At once an ode to the underrepresented and a reporting tour de force.
— The Writer
[A] groundbreaking study of the increasing influence of cultural outsiders
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
[Quart’s] careful reporting and vividly rendered characters make the book a vital, engaging read.
— Psychology Today
With brief but telling glimpses of the many people she interviews, the author makes connections that wouldn’t otherwise be obvious . . . a liberating vision of interlocking subcultures.
— Columbus Dispatch
Instructive for those who do creative work, and even for people who are trying to engage in any kind of meaningful self-definition: Don’t always accept other people’s categories. You can always make your own.
— Fast Company


Hothouse Kids

While studies show that children who are superior learners do benefit from enriched early education, the intensely competitive lives of America's gifted and talented kids do have risks. The pressure can have long-term effects in adult life, from debilitating perfectionism to performance anxiety and lifelong feelings of failure. Hothouse Kids provides an in-depth examination provides a much-needed wake-up call that will spark a national debate about this urgent issue.


Reviews of Hothouse Kids

Sept. 2006 | "Struggling to create the best kids on the block," Chicago Tribune  

Aug. 2006 | "The hothouse effect," Salon

Aug. 2006 | "Prodigies have problems too," Los Angeles Time

Aug. 2006 | Starred review for Kirkus

May 2006 | Starred review for Publishers Weekly

Quart’s message, thoughtful, often eloquent and bracingly frank, injects common sense into the overwrought rhetoric of parenting.
— Los Angeles Times
Quart presents a cogent argument that a baby can learn more playing in a sandbox with another child than sitting in front of a bright-baby video.
— Chicago Tribune
First-rate literary journalism.
— Publishers Weekly
A skilled reporter, Quart travels the country to meet with music prodigies, math and science whiz kids, teenaged evangelical preachers, and young Scrabble champs, among others, to uncover the pressures they face... Fascinating to read, Hothouse Kids is wholly convincing that overscheduled children are not better off than those who are given time for free play and relaxation.
— The Village Voice



Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. Branded illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding. Chilling, thought-provoking, even darkly amusing, Branded brings one of the most disturbing and least talked about results of contemporary business and culture to the fore-and ensures that we will never look at today's youth the same way again.


Reviews of Branded

Mar. 2003 | "Turning teenagers into conspicuous consumers," Los Angeles Times

Jan. 2003 | "How Consumer Culture Sets Up Its Young Ducks," The New York Times

Nov. 2002Starred review and Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly

For the readers still waiting for a substantive follow-up to Naomi Klein’s No Logo, this is the book....Quart is brilliant....[B]y the end, readers should be able to spot certain youth demographics and deconstruct their branded worlds instantaneously — and with empathy and anger.
— Publishers Weekly
Fascinating, highly readable cultural study.
— New York Post
[A]n empowering work...
— Boston Globe
Quart seamlessly weaves within her cultural criticism and warnings an extremely insightful analysis of the transformation of youth social movements.
— The Nation
Deserves to command wide attention among millions of families…Ms. Quart makes a brilliant case for how and why teenagers’ consumption of luxury-brand items and paraphernalia associated with teenage idols has gone too far.
— The New York Times
Quart makes it clear that being wary of advertising should be one of those childhood cautions, along with don’t talk to strangers, and that it is our job to instruct our children....[A] cogent wake-up call for both generations.
— Los Angeles Times
A fascinating and provocative study.
— BookPage
Quart’s style is smart and sassy...a frightening and important book.
— Women's Review of Books

Contact me at Alissa[at]AlissaQuart[dot]com

© 2015 by Alissa Quart