Trick Mirror

Trick Mirror

Reflections on Self-delusion

Book - 2019
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A breakout writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture with verve, deftness, and intellectual ferocity--for readers who've wondered what Susan Sontag would have been like if she had brain damage from the internet.
Published: New York :, Random House,, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780525510543
Branch Call Number: 973.93 TOL
Characteristics: xi, 303 pages ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

Who are we, really, in the internet age and what are the lies we tell ourselves to get there?

“I’ve been thinking about five intersecting problems: first, how the internet is built to distend our sense of identity; second, how it encourages us to overvalue our opinions; third, how it maximizes o... Read More »

“I’ve been thinking about five intersecting problems: first, how the internet is built to distend our sense of identity; second, how it encourages us to overvalue our opinions; third, how it maximizes our sense of opposition; fourth, how it cheapens our understanding of solidarity; and, finally, ... Read More »

From the critics

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Apr 27, 2021

Tolentino uses thirty words when five would do the trick- there are huge chunks of this book that feel like a rambling internal monologue of someone who knows a lot of jargon. The writing isn't accessible, and I wasn't that impressed with the stories. If we had more nonfiction or autobiographical books by millennials, I don't think this book and its contents would stand out as well as it has.

JCLChrisK Feb 17, 2021

Social commentary and critique through the lens of personal experience. In this collection of essays, Tolentino takes a hard look at a number of aspects of culture and media and her experiences with them. She is honest and vulnerable, delving into the lures and joys of each at the same time as she reflects on their dangers and damages. She is an engaging writer who makes each of her topics interesting.

Oct 29, 2020

These nine essays are what you should read to gain insight into the best thinking of the millennial generation. Tolentino is a good writer.

Aug 24, 2020

One excellent essay - "I Thee Dread" - but I found most of this retreads/obvious or uninteresting to me.

Feb 10, 2020

Excellent book, compelling writing. I look forward to more by this author.

SPL_Brittany Feb 04, 2020

After months of waiting for this book, I can see why this book has created so much buzz in the publishing world. Jia Tolentino writes a compelling and engaging book of essays of cultural commentary that is both well written and rigorously researched. It was a fairly quick read due in part to her book as a compilation of essays, and her writing style.

I admit that in a few of her essays, I found that she was taking the reader down a rabbit hole, that while interesting, I found it lost the reader. Additionally, though well researched, I found she included too many facts and notes to support her argument that it also detracted from some of her essays and I felt that lost the main point of her argument.

While this book may not appeal to everyone, as it does include topics that could be trigger warnings for some (rape culture, etc), I feel that this book is good for book clubs as each essay offers much for discussion.

Feb 03, 2020

Loved this! Jia is an amazing writer and gave me so much to think about.

Jan 25, 2020

When you’re young, you think you can do anything. You think you can write a book about your life as a cheerleader at a Christian school, experiences acting in a reality show, going deep in the meaning of Barre classes and the effects of social media. When you’re older, you know you can’t write like a New Yorker writer no matter how hard you try (and if you’re me you try and try and try but still the New Yorker writer in you doesn’t want to come out).

Instead of giving up, you now have a deep appreciation for New Yorker writers, and anyone who can write well-researched, deep and introspective, unusually opinionated and quirky ideas about things you also do and believe and experience. Instead of being jealous, your life is enriched. You can read books like this and benefit from the research written in beautiful language, think about things you never before noticed happening all around you, and reflect on your old, previously unexamined experiences and consider what you still might learn from them.

And mostly, you can be grateful there are writers like this one who, no matter how young, no matter what schools they went to, no matter what their lineage or circumstances, can touch your life so tenderly and ultimately make your brain hurt with their beautiful words.

Jan 04, 2020

Maybe the best essay collection I read last year. Jia Tolentino writes for "The New Yorker" and covers a wide range of topics with verve and insight: social media, literary heroines, Fyre festival, the wedding industry, and the "Rolling Stone" article on a rape at UVA (her alma mater).

Dec 13, 2019

Globe 100 2019. Non Fiction. Canadian and New Yorker author tackles some of the biggest issues of our time with flair and humour.

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Oct 08, 2019

Satoyuli thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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