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Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
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Random House Publishing Group 2019
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Description
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
 
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time.”—Vulture

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time Chicago Tribune • The Washington Post • NPR • Variety • Esquire Vox • Elle • GlamourGQ • Good Housekeeping The Paris Review • Paste • Town & Country • BookPage Kirkus Reviews • BookRiot Shelf Awareness
Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity.
Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/06/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525510550
ASIN:
B07L2JGLZ9
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APA Citation (style guide)

Jia Tolentino. (2019). Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jia Tolentino. 2019. Trick Mirror: Reflections On Self-Delusion. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections On Self-Delusion. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jia Tolentino. Trick Mirror: Reflections On Self-Delusion. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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      • bioText: Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Raised in Texas, she studied at the University of Virginia before serving in Kyrgyzstan in the Peace Corps and receiving her MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. She was a contributing editor at The Hairpin and the deputy editor at Jezebel, and her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Grantland, Pitchfork, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
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fullDescription
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
 
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time.”—Vulture

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time Chicago Tribune • The Washington Post • NPR • Variety • Esquire Vox • Elle • GlamourGQ • Good Housekeeping The Paris Review • Paste • Town & Country • BookPage Kirkus Reviews • BookRiot Shelf Awareness
Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity.
Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Zadie Smith
      • content: "It's easy to write about things as you wish they were--or as others tell you they must be. It's much harder to think for yourself, with the minimum of self-delusion. It's even harder to achieve at a moment like this, when our thoughts are subject to unprecedented manipulation, monetization, and surveillance. Yet Tolentino has managed to tell many inconvenient truths in Trick Mirror--and in enviable style. This is a whip-smart, challenging book that will prompt many of us to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It filled me with hope."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 3, 2019
        New Yorker contributor Tolentino debuts with a sharp, well-founded crackdown on the lies of self and culture in these nine original, incisive reflections on a hypercapitalist, internet-driven age that “positions personal identity as the center of the universe.” While some essays peel back personal self-delusions—such as by recalling, in “Always Be Optimizing,” how taking barre classes for fitness gave her the “satisfying but gross sense of having successfully conformed to a prototype” —others comment on broader cultural movements with frightening accuracy, for instance noting in “Pure Heroines” that “bravery and bitterness get so concentrated in literature, for women, because there’s not enough space for in the real world,” or that the election of Donald Trump represents the “incontrovertible, humiliating vindication of scamming as the quintessential American ethos.” The collection’s chief strength is Tolentino’s voice: sly, dry, and admittedly complicit in an era where “the choice...is to be destroyed or to morally compromise ourselves in order to be functional.” While the insights aren’t revelatory, the book’s candid self-awareness and well-formulated prose, and Tolentino’s ability to voice the bitterest truths—“Everything, not least the physical world itself, is overheating”—will gain Tolentino new fans and cement her reputation as an observer well worth listening to.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2019

        In her debut, New Yorker writer Tolentino turns a critical eye on herself and, in doing so, highlights the troubling images reflected in current American culture. These essays examine reality TV, physical optimization, rape culture, and more, and pieces about constructing identity on the Internet--from Geocities to Twitter trolling to the scam of the Fyre Festival--are especially timely and affecting. Tolentino's take on these topics is dark--the word nightmare is often used to describe the depressing effects of social media--and the author finds that an overriding theme is the desire to be seen, even if the image isn't always positive. Overall, she highlights how people must ignore the rot of the world in order to function day to day, which might be the most sinister thing of all. The book is thoroughly researched, and nearly every page contains a revelation about contemporary culture. Tolentino's writing is just personal enough to put a human aspect to her points, so that readers feel them intimately, and she admits her own unseemly qualities with the same attention by which she examines the rest of the world. The final essay on marriage lags behind what is otherwise a cutting, brilliant collection. VERDICT An incisive collection that cements Tolentino as one of her generation's greatest cultural critics.--Katy Hershberger, School Library Journal

        Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2019
        Tolentino brings a preternaturally aware millennial sensibility and exceptional literary skills to her keenly inquisitive and complexly involving essays. A New Yorker writer with a consequential online following, Tolentino is adept at transmuting autobiography into penetrating and unpredictable critiques of the self and the zeitgeist. In nine substantial and kinetic investigations built on deep reading, intrepid reckoning, and daring disclosures, Tolentino considers an array of slippery yet key questions. She assesses the impact of the internet on our sense of personal and communal identity and responsibility. She recounts her childhood as a rare Asian American in a large Texas evangelical church community, her role in a teen reality-TV show, and her stints at the University of Virginia and in the Peace Corps, delving into race, gender, sexual assault, and feminism in its current market-friendly and mainstream form. Tolentino investigates literary heroines, religion, self-optimization, weddings, ecstasy chemical and mystical, and the perversities of the Trump administration. In the zone of Joan Didion, Susan Sontag, Elif Batuman, and Leslie Jamison, Tolentino adeptly pursues a granular understanding of undermining paradoxes with wit, verve, and righteousness.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2019
        A popular young writer tackles a host of cultural movements in her debut collection of essays. In these nine stunning pieces, New Yorker staff writer Tolentino seamlessly melds together journalistic social criticism and revealing personal essays. To varying degrees of intimate context, she places herself within each narrative, reporting on broad social currents while revealing very specific encounters. Among the many topics the author explores: the expansive influence of the internet and social media; the increasing social pressure to optimize our interests and aspirations at all times (especially for women); the alarming proliferation and increased tolerance of scamming; societal, somewhat idealized traditions such as marriage and, more specifically, weddings. Tolentino recounts her experience with reality TV and reflects on her teenage identity when she appeared as a contestant in Girls v. Boys: Puerto Rico. "Reality TV had not yet created a whole new type of person," she writes, "the camera-animated assemblage of silicone and pharmaceuticals; we hadn't yet seen the way organic personalities could decay on unscripted television, their half-lives measured through sponsored laxative-tea Instagrams and paid appearances at third-tier regional clubs." She also recalls favorite literary books from her past, assessing the heroines' varying plights in guiding her current feminist leanings. While offering razor-sharp commentary on the underbelly of our culture, she can also appreciate its attraction. Furthermore, she acknowledges her particular conundrum, having established her niche as a writer by staying in tune with cultural trends: "I don't know what to do with the fact...that my career is possible in large part because of the way the internet collapses identity, opinion, and action--and that I, as a writer whose work is mostly critical and often written in first person, have some inherent stake in justifying the dubious practice of spending all day trying to figure out what you think." Tolentino offers a millennial perspective that is deeply grounded, intellectually transcending her relative youth. She brings fresh perspective to current movements in a manner similar to that of Joan Didion in the 1960s and '70s. Exhilarating, groundbreaking essays that should establish Tolentino as a key voice of her generation.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
 
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time.”—Vulture

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time Chicago Tribune...
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Reflections on Self-Delusion
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