BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener [in Booklist]

Once upon a time, Anna Weiner was a literary agency assistant, living on “the edge of Brooklyn with a roommate [she] hardly knew, in an apartment filled with so much secondhand furniture it almost had a connection to history.” She was “broke” but “never poor,” because she had the safety net of family. Back then, she still “didn’t even have apps on [her] phone.”

While still “oblivious to Silicon Valley, and contentedly so,” she took her first step toward technology and, in 2013, joined a Manhattan e-book startup. When that proved ill-fitting, the still-supportive (younger, male) co-founders pushed her West, assuming tech was her chosen trajectory: “‘San Francisco is the best place to be a young person … You should really try to get out there before too long.’” Despite his implication, Weiner believed at 25, she “was still young,” although she would soon find herself negotiating an impossibly youthful, male, risk-chasing environment for which she (nor her colleagues, even bosses) had proper preparation.

With an eyebrow well-cocked, actor/writer/director Suehyla El-Attar embarks on Weiner’s odyssey with gleeful energy and unflagging – well … fun. Clearly enjoying Weiner’s razor-sharp observations sheathed in precisely honed sentences, El-Attar is an ideal conspirator to Weiner’s insider-on-the-periphery exposé of the bro-culture she infiltrates, engages, and eventually abandons.

Review: “Media,” Booklist Online, June 5, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2020


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