Jia Tolentino at The New Yorker TechFest on October 7, 2016.
1155 Union Cir, Denton, TX 76203, United States
Jia Tolentino at the University of North Texas at Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference 2017.
Jia Tolentino with Brian Maslowski, Benjamin Toll, Rachel Grana Mayne, and Roy Herbst at American Association for Cancer Research in 2018.
116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027, United States
Jia Tolentino with Joanna Stalnaker at Columbia University on April 18, 2019.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
The University of Virginia where Jia Tolentino received a Bachelor of Arts degree.
500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States
The University of Michigan where Jia Tolentino received a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Jia Tolentino with Emma Carmichael.
Jia Tolentino. Photo by Elena Mudd.
Jia Tolentino at the University of Virginia on April 02, 2019.
Jia Tolentino with her dog.
Jia Tolentino at the age of four.
(Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip throu...)
Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.
Jia Tolentino studied at the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar-Joseph Chappell Hutcheson Scholar. She also took additional creative writing classes for fun and felt that writing was the one thing she was good at, but she assumed she would end up in teaching or nonprofit work. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009 and later gained her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan.
Jia Tolentino joined the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan after college. There she kept writing fiction and short stories for her friends. Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Tolentino started copywriting and grant writing. She wrote a new novel, and wanted to see if it was good, so she applied to some fully funded fiction programs. She got into Michigan, and then started freelancing, mostly for the Awl network.
In 2012, Emma Carmichael brought her onto The Hairpin as a part-time editor. At the Hairpin Jia edited different first-time writers, as well as her personal essays. In 2014, Tolentino and Carmichael both moved to Jezebel. At Jezebel, she edited features and blog posts.
In 2016, Jia Tolentino became a staff writer at The New Yorker whose work included an exploration of youth vaping and essays on the ongoing cultural reckoning about sexual assault. She has also drawn attention to essays on topics like race in publishing, marriage, abortion, and notions of female empowerment. Tolentino has reported extensively on the #MeToo movement. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Grantland, Slate, Bon Apetit, SPIN, Pitchfork, and FADER. Her first book, the essay collection Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, is published in 2019.
(Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip throu...)2019
"Writing succeeds when you can’t see the effort."
"You learn that the coolest thing about having a microphone is turning it away from your own mouth."
"An ad-based publishing model built around maximizing page views quickly and cheaply creates uncomfortable incentives for writers, editors, and readers alike."
"I never got tired of coming across a writerly style that seemed to exist for no good reason. I loved watching people try to figure out if they had something to say."
"I always felt very happy whenever I was editing anyone who had a sense of humor, attention to style, and intelligence that felt personal to them. "
Jia Tolentino thinks she has a good sense of humor but she doesn't think she’s funny.
Quotes from others about the person
"Jia Tolentino is the best young essayist at work in the United States, one I’ve consistently admired and learned from." - Rebecca Solnit
"I worship at the altar of Jia Tolentino, who is undoubtedly the sharpest and most incisive cultural critic alive. Jia is a for-real genius, so damn funny it's absurd, and her ability to cut through all the noise to reveal the heart of the matter is unmatched." - Samantha Irby