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Literary fiction for the Digital Age

For many, modern life is powered by digital technology -- and blissfully so. But along with the many benefits of digital life, there are questions. 

What degree of privacy can we expect and how can we ensure it? What does large scale connectivity mean for individual relationships? And how will the balance of power in society shift alongside technology?

The following novels explore these and other similar topics.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer
Nothing less than the fate of all personal data is at stake in this sharp, smart caper of a novel about three individuals -- NGO worker Leila Majnoun, conspiracist Leo Crane, and accidental self-help star Mark Deveraux -- drafted into the shadow conflict between a secret high-powered cabal and their underground opposition.  

The Circle by Dave Eggers
Mae Holland arrives at her first day of work at dominant, celebrated tech company The Circle grateful to be there and eager to please, and the more they ask, the more she gives -- until she may no longer have a choice. Favoring thrills over subtlety, Eggers nonetheless creates a resonant vision of sharing culture as ceaseless pursuer.

Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen
A writer struggling professionally and personally agrees to ghostwrite the autobiography of the billionaire founder of tech company Tetration in this formidable novel with much on its mind, including questions of privacy, identity, and the boundaries of human knowledge in the Digital Age.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
In a near future hilariously reflective of contemporary trends and fears, middle-aged Lenny Abramov falls for younger Eunice Park. Separated by sensibilities as much as by years, anxious, book-loving Lenny and unfulfilled, hyper plugged-in Eunice both struggle with where they fit in their world and who they can be to each other. Shteyngart ably satirizes the preoccupations of the Information Age while also giving us its first great romance.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
Of the three narratives woven throughout Chaon's novel, only one -- that of young Ryan Schuyler, who, after meeting his con man birth father, joins him in his career of online identity theft -- deals directly with digital life, yet the novel as a whole richly reflects the modern moment in how it treats themes of identity and connection. And, oh, that ending!