Margaret Atwood may be the most honored novelist, poet, and short story writer of our time, so when she really likes a book, it’s worth paying attention. In the November 21 New York Review, she enthusiastically discusses Dave Eggers’ new novel, The Circle. An excerpt:
The outpouring of ideas is central in The Circle, as it is in part of a novel of ideas. What sort of ideas? Ideas about the social construction and deconstruction of privacy, and about the increasing corporate ownership of privacy, and about the effects such ownership may have on the nature of Western democracy.
Dissemination of information is power, as the old yellow –journalism newspaper proprietors knew so well. What is withheld can be as potent as what is disclosed, and who can lie publicly and get away with it is determined by gatekeepers: thus, in the Internet age, code owners have the keys to the kingdom.