A wry, provocative and very funny debut novel about identity, authenticity and the self in the age of the internet
On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous Internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in Internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.
Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York—or be anywhere in particular—our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the Internet Age.
About the author
Lauren Oyler is based in Brooklyn, and also spends time in Berlin. Her essays on books and culture have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Guardian, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Bookforum, the Baffler and the New Republic, among other publications.
- ‘This novel made me want to retire from contemporary reality. I loved it’ Zadie Smith
- ‘A searingly funny, smart, revealing novel. Oyler’s fiction is as insightful and probing as her criticism’ Nicole Flattery, author of Show Them A Good Time
- ‘[A] unique, ferociously modern voice. This incisive, funny work brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of lives led online and personae tested in the real world’ Publishers Weekly
- ‘Fake Accounts percolates the big moral questions of our age – fraudulence, identity as performance, surveillance capitalism, political instability, personal freedom – through a narrative arc driven ingeniously by low-level dopamine hits. At the same time, it is very, very funny. Oyler is the kind of dangerous contemporary writer we need more of’ Niamh Campbell, author of This Happy and winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award 2020
- ‘Fake Accounts is an absorbing and shameless examination of the way self-mythologies are forged and performed in the public privacy of the internet. Fans of Lauren Oyler’s ferocious criticism will love this 21st century comedy of bad manners’ Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody is Ever Missing and The Answers ‘Lauren Oyler holds a funhouse mirror up to our cracked reality, daring the reader to follow her into the depths of online fakery, app-based sociality, and late-capitalist dissonance, the mazelike illogic of our information-glutted times. In her masterful hands, you may feel your own carefully constructed twenty-first-century persona begin to unravel, revealing something much less tidy and much more provocative dwelling beneath’ Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine