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KATIE WILLIAMS-Tell the Machine Goodnight

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 7:00pm
Tell the Machine Goodnight: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525533122
Availability: Unavailable. Orders will be auto-cancelled.
Published: Riverhead Books - June 19th, 2018




Friday, July 20

speaking & signing
Tell the Machine Goodnight





Set in a near-future San Francisco, where tech companies reign and virtual reality is commonplace,Tell the Machine Goodnight introduces us to a cast of delightfully complicated men and women struggling to figure out the elusive definition of happiness. There is Pearl, a mother desperate to help her teenage son Rhett overcome an eating disorder. There is Valeria, a woman haunted by a secret so devastating that she is convinced she is undeserving of happiness. And there’s Calla Pax, an isolated Hollywood star who is willing to do anything to feel even the slightest connection with the outside world.

These characters and others turn to Apricity, a machine that claims to prescribe personalized recommendations for greater contentment. From the mundane (“eat more oranges”) to the extreme (“cut off your right index finger”), Apricity’s suggestions seem to work. But how far are we willing to go to be happy? What does happy really mean, anyway?

With a style that is clever, insightful and just the right amount of absurd, Katie Williams delivers an emotional page-turner that playfully taps into our collective unease about modern technology, challenging the reader to question if happiness is something we can actually search for or if it is something that simply finds us.


Katie Williams's short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, American Short Fiction, Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, and elsewhere. Williamsearned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches writing and literature at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the author of two young adult novels, The Space Between Trees and Absent. This is her first novel for adults.

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