Lauren Oyler

Lauren Oyler’s first novel, Fake Accounts, was published in February.

The title​ is distinctly weird, resolutely of our time, but not something anyone would actually say. Detransition, Baby: disparate registers ironically combined, in a standard format, to make a little pun. The word ‘detransition’ is specific; it’s not a word whose general definition gets an extra tweak of meaning in context, like ‘pass’. You can’t...

Short Cuts: Internet Speak

Lauren Oyler, 7 May 2020

Every day​ I write to friends, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers using most or all the following media: Gmail, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Instagram, iMessage and WhatsApp. A message sent through Facebook still occasionally pops up; I could also communicate via Spotify, the music streaming service; Venmo, a money-sending app; Yelp, where I looked for restaurant recommendations pre...

Ha ha! Ha ha! Jia Tolentino

Lauren Oyler, 23 January 2020

‘Feminism​ is suddenly conventional wisdom in many spheres,’ Jia Tolentino writes in ‘The Cult of the Difficult Woman’, an essay in her debut collection, Trick Mirror. Ignoring the inaccurate ‘suddenly’, the sentiment is correct. It suggests, contra hashtag, that not all women, in all scenarios, need to be extra vigilant for misogynist...

In​ ‘Abortion, a Love Story’, the long story at the centre of Nicole Flattery’s first collection, a young woman, Natasha, tells the professor on whom she’s about to force a perfunctory affair that she has a disorder. ‘I can’t explain exactly what my disorder is,’ she says, ‘but it prevents me from absorbing any knowledge into my brain.’...

The New Grunge

Lauren Oyler, 23 May 2019

In the late​ 1990s a white teenager called John Walker Lindh converted to Islam and began worshipping at the Islamic Centre of Mill Valley in Marin County, California. Brought up as a Catholic, he studied many world religions but was attracted to Islam after seeing Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. He soon found himself out of place in his American suburb – according to a family friend, he...

There’s always an audience if you’re someone with a smartphone, a social media influencer or just paranoid. But the lack of connection is not only a problem of address, but of artifice. Is the text...

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