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My first apartment after college, when I was twenty-two, was on East Seventh Street, four flights above a vintage-tchotchke store called Love Saves the Day.(The awning always seemed to be calling my name.) I lived there with four roommates—all messy straight boys—and had a tiny bedroom overlooking a pommes-frites shop.From my little window, I could smell pommes frites wafting up, so I constantly craved them.Sometimes I sat on the fire escape and read books, or climbed up to the roof.There was the dreamy college freshman who had overpowering reactions to books and art and music.In letters to her former high-school sweetheart, a medic in the Vietnam War, she wrote from her dorm room about seeing Simon and Garfunkel at Dartmouth; when Garfunkel sang the last line of “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her,” it was “almost like the beautiful feeling you have when someone first tells you the same thing.” The day she finished reading “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” she thought she was having a “severe identity crisis.” I knew what it was like to be twenty and get dizzily lost in a song (during college, I once listened to “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” on a loop for three hours), or in James Joyce, or in a momentary “identity crisis.”There was Meryl at twenty-three, still wondering if she should become an environmental lawyer while she was enrolled at the Yale School of Drama, until she slept through the exam.Scattering a vial of his ashes in Coney Island, I told a friend, “This has aged us.” I remember feeling passive, like the most consequential things in life were the ones that happened me, sometimes for no apparent reason.

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Kramer.” She had found and lost her first great love—John Cazale, the character actor who played Fredo in “The Godfather,” and who died, of lung cancer, with Streep at his bedside—and then, a mere six months later, married the second great love of her life, the sculptor Don Gummer.For the past two and a half years, I’ve immersed myself in the twenties of a distinctly uncommon person: Meryl Streep, the subject of my book, “Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep.” It traces Streep’s life from her suburban New Jersey high school (she was the homecoming queen, naturally) to her breakout roles in “The Deer Hunter,” “Manhattan,” and “Kramer vs.Kramer,” for which she won her first Academy Award, at age thirty.seems like only recently that people in their twenties became the focus of sustained cultural fascination, or self-fascination, but perhaps that’s always been the case.“Few decades of experience command such dazzled interest,” Nathan Heller wrote in , a couple years ago, in a roundup of the latest haul of twentysomething-themed books.