Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

uncanny valley book cover

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand. The book hit the shelves in January 2020.

You can read more about the book here:

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 sight 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.

About the Author

Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to the New Yorker online, where she writes about Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticNew YorkThe New Republic, and n + 1, as well as in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017. She lives in San Francisco. Uncanny Valley is her first book.

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