Fake Accounts (Hardcover)

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"This novel made me want to retire from contemporary reality. I loved it." —Zadie Smith

A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “incisive” and “funny” debut novel that “brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of lives led online and personae tested in the real world” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

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. Actually, she's relieved--he was always a little distant--and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. 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 and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, 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. She begins to think she can't trust anyone--shouldn't the feeling be mutual?

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's essays on books and culture have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, London Review of Books, The Guardian, New York magazine's The Cut, The New Republic, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Born and raised in West Virginia, she now divides her time between New York and Berlin.

Praise For…

Bustle Most Anticipated Book of the Year
An Electric Literature Most Anticipated Debut of the Year
A Rumpus Most Anticipated Book of Next Year

"This novel made me want to retire from contemporary reality. I loved it." —Zadie Smith

"Oyler has written a startlingly lucid account of what it does to a person to live a life filled with lies, why it's so painful to be unable to trust anything or anyone, including yourself . . . I laughed a lot while reading this, even when—especially when—I very much saw myself as the joke. What Fake Accounts is ultimately asking, then, is a question we could all do well to pose to ourselves with some frequency: Who do you think you're fooling?" ––Kristin Iversen, Refinery29, One of the Best New Books of the Year

"If you’re looking to understand our political context through the lens of a personal narrative, Fake Accounts is worth preordering . . . In a time when liars become not only famous YouTubers but talk show hosts and even presidents, is it possible to dig through to get to the truth?" —Rachel Charlene Lewis, Bitch

"If you’re looking for fiction that understands the complexities of life online and the way that world seeps into reality, this is it." —Madison Malone Kircher, A Vulture Most Anticipated Book of the Year 

"Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts is a delicious commentary on the internet and social media and a compelling story of a woman struggling to find her way . . . The narrator is an excellent liar, yet you feel like she is telling you the truth because of Oyler’s smart prose, which is often directed to you, the reader." ––Alma, A Favorite Book for Winter

"An absorbing, intelligent, charmingly meta novel about what it’s like to live right now, both on and off the internet." ––Literary Hub, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year

"[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 (starred review) 

"Prolific essayist Oyler’s first foray into fiction seduces with its mesmerizing stream-of-consciousness and exploration of identity and authenticity, commitment and abandonment . . . Oyler’s piercing examination of the paradoxically immersive superficiality of life lived in the thrall of social media is hefty in its own right, a case of both too much information and, ironically, not enough. Sure to resonate with the multitasking Millennials and Gen Z digerati." —Booklist (starred review)

"A mordant take on postmodern mores . . . [A] smart, often funny critique of a culture that rewards people for turning themselves into brands and encourages the incessant consumption and creation of content." —Kirkus Reviews 

"Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts is such an ensorcelling blend of insight, comedy and suspense, you almost don’t notice yourself being filleted alive in these pages. A note to fellow readers of the twenty-first century: Anyone familiar with the allure of social media will adore this coolly observed novel. A note to fellow writers of the twenty-first century: Oh crap, she did it." —Sloane Crosley, author of Look Alive Out There and I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Product Details
ISBN: 9781948226929
ISBN-10: 1948226928
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021
Pages: 272