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It is hard to think of a single aspect of modern life that hasn't been altered by the Internet. Today we exist, for the most part, in filtered, isolated corners of cyberspace--a place that has slowly subsumed our physical habitats and all at once become our local library, office, bar, movie theater, and concert hall. But as we've gained the ability to gather without leaving our bedrooms or looking another person in the eye, many of the fundamentally human experiences that sustained us have silently disappeared.
In 100 short, never-before-published essays, enlivened with illustrations by Nishant Choksi, Pamela Paul presents a record of all the things we long for without realizing that they're gone as well as the things we're all too happy to let slip into the pre-Internet past—from voicemails to punctuation to civility. There are the small losses: postcards, the blessings of an adolescence largely spared of documentation, and the genuine surprises at high school reunions. But there are larger repercussions, too: weaker memories, the inability to entertain oneself, and the utter demolition of privacy.
Paul will be in conversation with Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. She has also written for GQ, ESPN the Magazine, and many other publications. Fleishman Is in Trouble is her first novel.