Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Anna Wiener
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About This Book

Named one of the Best Books of 2020 by TheWashington Post,The Atlantic, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, ELLE , Esquire,Parade,Teen Vogue, The Boston Globe, Forbes, The Times(UK),Fortune, Chicago Tribune, Glamour, The A.V. Club, Vox, Jezebel,Town & Country, OneZero, Apartment Therapy,Good Housekeeping, PopMatters,Electric Literature, Self, The Week(UK) and BookPage.A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a January 2020 IndieNext Pick.

In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener--stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial--left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course,progress.

Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.

Part coming-of-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener's memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry's shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.