Trick Mirror -- Jia Tolentino

Staff Pick

Tolentino writes from an explicitly millennial perspective, but the “generation-defining” forces she so ably and deeply explores—the internet, feminism, sexual harassment, the 2016 election--have touched everyone alive today, no matter when they were born. Blending the intimate, honest approach of a personal essayist—one not afraid to show us her weaker moments—with an experienced cultural critic’s skepticism and range, Tolentino both clarifies and complicates every subject she touches, from athleisure-wear and reality shows (her story of appearing in one is priceless) to “difficult women” and drug use. Calling the name of today’s game “scamming,” she draws on her own early experiences with blogs, books, and a megachurch—christened by its youthful members “the Repentagon”—to dissect some of the artifices at work on us today. These are mostly web-based, but even with familiar suspects like Amazon and Facebook Tolentino adds a lot to our understanding of how these forces work on us and how they stay so powerful; her discussion of the internet as a theatre without a backstage is apt and memorable, as are her expositions of how feminism still knuckles under to the “tyranny of the ideal woman” and of how intensive marketing, dating only from the nuptials of Queen Victoria, has created “traditional” weddings where, for just tens of thousands of dollars, every woman can get the royal treatment for a day.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525510543
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House - August 6th, 2019

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