BKMT READING GUIDES

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
by Anna Wiener

Published: 2020-01-14
Hardcover : 288 pages
2 members reading this now
0 club reading this now
0 members have read this book

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a January 2020 IndieNext Pick. An Amazon Best Book of January. One of Vogue's 22 Books to Read This Winter, The Washington Post's 10 Books to Read in January, ELLE's 12 Best Books to Read in 2020, The New York Times's 12 Books to Read in ...

Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a January 2020 IndieNext Pick. An Amazon Best Book of January. One of Vogue's 22 Books to Read This Winter, The Washington Post's 10 Books to Read in January, ELLE's 12 Best Books to Read in 2020, The New York Times's 12 Books to Read in January, Esquire's 15 Best Winter Books, Paste's 10 Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2020, and Entertainment Weekly's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020.

"A definitive document of a world in transition: I won't be alone in returning to Uncanny Valley for clarity and consolation for many years to come." ?Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

The prescient, page-turning account of a journey in Silicon Valley: a defining memoir of our digital age

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-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.

Unsparing and incisive, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2020: In her mid-twenties, Anna Wiener left her low-paying but rewarding-ish job in New York publishing and sold her soul to Silicon Valley start-up culture. First she dipped her toe in by taking a job at a books-focused tech company, but soon she made the full plunge, moving West and joining a data analytics company as an early employee. In her debut memoir, Wiener relays firsthand the juxtaposition of the extreme wealth and poverty of San Francisco, most memorably with an anecdote about a homeless man wearing the sweatshirt swag from her company. Her colleague’s response? “I wonder whose it was. We’re not supposed to give away the hoodies.” Wiener is not here to make friends, as she gets pretty dish-y on the highs and lows of tech culture. We see young tech entrepreneurs with low EQ struggle to run a sustainable business, and highly paid boys and girls acting badly in and around the Bay Area. Wiener’s observations and writing are razor sharp; she cleverly doesn’t name any companies (Google is the “search-engine giant down in Mountain View”, Uber “an on-demand ride-sharing startup”), but they are easily recognizable and make the reader feel clever when they uncrack her code. This perfectly named memoir places Wiener on the map as an astute documenter of our time. She’s now married her worlds and is writing about Silicon Valley, startup culture and tech for national publications. —Sarah Gelman, Amazon Book Review

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

No discussion questions at this time.

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
There are no user reviews at this time.
Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...