Tuesday, May 12th at 7PM CDT
ANNA WIENER & JORDAN KISNER
Uncanny Valley & Thin Places
ONLINE SALES END AT 5PM CDT
EVENT & TICKET GUIDELINES
- Tickets are required to join this live event.
- Tickets are available with the purchase of Uncanny Valley, Thin Places, OR the $5 Virtual Ticket (+ tax).
- The Zoom link to attend will be sent to the email you used to purchase the book on the day of the event at 5PM CDT.
- If you ordered a copy of Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener or Thin Places by Jordan Kisner prior to the event announcement, we will honor your pre-order and send you a link to the event.
- The Zoom link will be sent to the email you used to purchase the book on the day of the event at 5PM CDT.
- Digital Doors Open at 6:45 PM CDT
- Event Begins at 7:00 PM CDT
NOTE: Because this is a virtual event that will be hosted on Zoom, you will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing and sufficient Internet access. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.
ABOUT UNCANNY VALLEY
The prescient, page-turning account of a journey into 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 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.
ABOUT THIN PLACES
In this perceptive and provocative essay collection, an award-winning writer shares her personal and reportorial investigation into America’s search for meaning
When Jordan Kisner was a child, she was saved by Jesus Christ at summer camp, much to the confusion of her nonreligious family. She was, she writes, “just naturally reverent,” a fact that didn’t change when she—much to her own confusion—lost her faith as a teenager. Not sure why her religious conviction had come or where it had gone, she did what anyone would do: “You go about the great American work of assigning yourself to other gods: yoga, talk radio, neoatheism, CrossFit, cleanses, football, the academy, the American Dream, Beyoncé.”
A curiosity about the subtle systems guiding contemporary life pervades Kisner’s work. Her celebrated essay “Thin Places” (Best American Essays 2016), about an experimental neurosurgery developed to treat severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, asks how putting the neural touchpoint of the soul on a pacemaker may collide science and psychology with philosophical questions about illness, the limits of the self, and spiritual transformation. How should she understand the appearance of her own obsessive compulsive disorder at the very age she lost her faith?
Intellectually curious and emotionally engaging, the essays in Thin Places manage to be both intimate and expansive, illuminating an unusual facet of American life, as well as how it reverberates with the author’s past and present preoccupations.
ABOUT ANNA WIENER
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 Atlantic, New York, The 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.
ABOUT JORDAN KISNER
Jordan Kisner received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and completed an MFA in creative nonfiction at Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in n+1, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, The Guardian, The American Scholar, California Sunday, The New Yorker, The New Republic, New York magazine, and Pitchfork, among other publications. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize and was selected for Best American Essays 2016.
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