The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional But Essentially True Silicon Valley Story
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About the Author
Jessica Powell received her BA in International Studies from Vassar College, her MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, and completed her Ph.D. in UCSB's Department of Spanish and Portuguese, specializing in literary translation and twentieth-century Latin American Literature. Since completing her doctorate in 2006, she has published dozens of translations of literary works by a wide variety of Latin American writers. She was the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship in support of her translation of Antonio Benítez Rojo's novel Woman in Battle Dress (City Lights, 2015), which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. Her translation of Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya (Mandel Vilar Press, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award and made the longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award. Her translation, the first-ever into English of Pablo Neruda's book-length poem, venture of the infinite man, was published by City Lights Books in October of 2017. Recent translations include Edna Iturralde's award-winning book, Green Was My Forest, published in September, 2018. Jessica has been an adjunct Spanish Professor at Santa Barbara City College, and also works as a subtitler, editor and adapter for film and television. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Abe Powell, and their two children, Olivia and Leo.
"A zany satire . . . her diagnosis of Silicon Valley's cultural stagnancy is so spot on that it's barely contestable."
-The New York Times
""[Powell] wields Bonfire of the Vanities levels of absurdity and social observation to chronicle this particular northern Californian strain of masters of the universe"
"Jessica Powell is everything you want in a writer about power and money and lunacy in modern day Silicon Valley. She is an insider who has come outside, an insightful chronicler of the ridonkulous foibles of the digital overlords and a deft teller of tales. She was in the room and has managed to gleefully open its doors and let us see the antic circus inside. Such a view has never been more important as tech's damage becomes more and more clear."
-Kara Swisher, journalist, New York Times writer, and founder of Recode
"The best books typically prompt us to laugh or think or learn something about the world that we might not have otherwise known. You will do all these things while reading this book, and more. This is a wild, incisive, and incredibly necessary look at the way that Silicon Valley works, and a wonderfully good read as well. The Big Disruption is a book that explains and defines this moment--the kind of book many of us have been waiting for."
--Tope Folarin, Caine Prize winner and author,
A Particular Kind of Black Man
"From years of dealing with Jessica Powell during her time at Google, I knew she was witty. But I am sitting at a Starbucks laughing out loud like an idiot at her very smart new book The Big Disruption, a brilliant and funny satire of the male, engineer-driven culture of Silicon Valley where the leaders are cryptic and obtuse to reality."
--Walt Mossberg, tech journalism pioneer
and former Wall Street Journal columnist