A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Pick, WIRED’s #1 summer must-read, and one of Inc.’s 10 Smartest Books for Entrepreneurs, Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art offers a far-reaching and deeply thoughtful look at the “logics and aesthetics” of life online. Treating the Internet as a global, transformative work of art, the book explores the ways we read, see, listen, and collaborate across this vast, uncertain, and exciting medium. The book has garnered high praise from a variety of major publications and personalities. “Goddamn, Virginia Heffernan is brilliant,” writes Lena Dunham. The New Republic proclaims: “This is sumptuous writing, saturated with observations that are simultaneously personal, cultural, and strikingly original—and she’s writing about software.” The New Yorker says “She writes with flair. Heffernan is good company.” Slate writes that “My copy of Magic and Loss is sloppily scrawled with all caps pencilings of words like ‘YES!’ and ‘TRUTH!’” The New York Review of Books calls it “an ecstatic narrative of submission.” And Gwyneth Paltrow writes that Heffernan is “one of the writers I most admire.” Beyond these publications, the book has been profiled or reviewed in Vogue, Esquire, The Creators Project, Maclean’s, NPR, The Fader, Lit Hub, Business Insider, Salon, Publishers Weekly, and many more.
Heffernan is much more than a book club darling—her vision of hyper-connected life in action has made her an invaluable business sage. Having worked to reorient and inspire the likes of PayPal and Earnest, as well as major venture firms in San Francisco and New York, Heffernan’s insights are employable at the ground level, equipping companies with vision to see their own desires in action while keeping brand identities intact.
On Slate’s official Presidential podcast, Trumpcast, Heffernan steps in as charismatic host in Jacob Weisberg’s absence. Additionally, she was the “Machine Politics” and “Appitude” columnist at Yahoo! News. From 2006 to 2011, she wrote television criticism and The Medium column for The New York Times Magazine. She’s regularly requested by a range of institutions—universities, libraries, Fortune 100 corporations, political organizations, and ad agencies. She is a sought-after speaker on the idea of leveraging the intrinsic capabilities of the Internet for cultural, political, and professional purposes. A former editor at Harper’s and Slate, she has her Master’s and a Ph.D in English literature from Harvard.