Skip to main content

Robbins, Alexandra 1976-

ROBBINS, Alexandra 1976-

PERSONAL: Born 1976. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1988.

ADDRESSES: Home—Washington, DC. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER: Author; journalist, formerly on staff of the New Yorker.


(With Abby Wilner) Quarterlife Crisis: The UniqueChallenges of Life in Your Twenties, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.

Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly.

SIDELIGHTS: Formerly on staff at the New Yorker, Alexandra Robbins's first book concerns the challenges of her fellow twenty-somethings. In Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties, she and coauthor Abby Wilner provide interviews with dozens of people fresh out of college confronting worklife, money problems, and the freedom to truly shape their own lives for the first time. "Although Quarterlife Crisis doesn't contain all the answers that people in their twenties are looking for, it does feature helpful stories they can relate to," wrote Booklist reviewer Kristine Huntley. The various interview subjects address such concerns as dealing with less-than-ideal jobs and even moving back in with parents, and the challenges of balancing responsibilities and social life. A Publishers Weekly reviewer found it "more of a pastiche than a guidebook." Still, "for members of Generation-Y, it at least provides proof that they're not alone in feeling pressured, depressed, or disappointed."

In her next book, Robbins takes on a rather more privileged group of collegians and post-collegians. In Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power she charts the history and influence of that most famous of secret societies, whose members have been among the most prominent U.S. citizens, including three presidents. Herself a Yale graduate and member of another secret society, Robbins was able to interview over 100 "Bones people"—the society went co-ed in 1990—to produce "an interesting study, though the casual reader might find it too detailed," according to Booklist reviewer Kristine Huntley.

Paul Marx, reviewing the book for the Houston Chronicle, questioned her first chapter, a lurid retelling of the most extreme conspiracy theories surround the Skull and Bones, but added, "Once readers get beyond this misstep and Robbins's real voice comes through, they will find themselves guided by an excellent stylist and a first-rate mind."



Booklist, June 1, 2001, Kristine Huntley, review of Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Lifein Your Twenties, p. 1801; review of Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, p. 30.

Houston Chronicle, October 18, 2002, "Skull and Bones and Two Presidents."

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of Secrets of the Tomb, p. 1015.

Publishers Weekly, May 7, 2001, review of QuarterlifeCrisis, p. 236.*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Robbins, Alexandra 1976-." Contemporary Authors. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Robbins, Alexandra 1976-." Contemporary Authors. . (January 21, 2019).

"Robbins, Alexandra 1976-." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.