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About the Book

About the Book

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

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

In her mid-20s, 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 during 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, UNCANNY VALLEY, 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.

Audiobook available, read by Suehyla El-Attar

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
by Anna Wiener

  • Publication Date: January 14, 2020
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: MCD
  • ISBN-10: 0374278016
  • ISBN-13: 9780374278014