Smartest Read of the Year for Entrepreneurs. Magic and Loss is a key addition to any business-book collection.
Heffernan is a gleeful trickster, a semiotics fan with an unabashed sweet tooth for pop culture.
— Justin Ellis, The New York Times Book Review
A highly informative analysis of what the Internet is—and can be. A thoroughly engrossing examination of the Internet’s past, present,and future.
— Kirkus, best book of the year
One of the best tech books of the year.
— Backchannel
Magic and Loss is a key addition to any business-book collection
— INC.

Rated a best book of the year in the National Journal, Kirkus, Backchannel, WIRED and more!

I joined the Internet at nine. 

It was 1979, and it wasn't called the Internet. I called it "the computer," and what I did on it was "play." 

"Stop playing the computer!" my mother would yell, as I tied up our family's one phone line using my Zenith Z-19's external modem to dial into a mainframe computer in the middle of our New Hampshire town. But I couldn't tear myself away from that old interface--the green letters that embellished that deep black background.

That relationship between life's symbols and its mystery is what I have spent my whole career trying to understand. Too often, we use digital technology without even thinking about it, or—worse—with self-doubt and even anxiety. Is this hurting our minds? Our relationships? Our one chance on earth to live a fulfilling and prosperous life? 

Quite the opposite. The Internet expands, and doesn't contract, what it means to be human. And once we accept our full responsibility for digital citizenship, that fathomless space provides the medium for life's most exhilarating adventures.

"There’s no more gifted individual to share a perspective on the Internet than Virginia Heffernan." 

— 33 Voices


"10 years from now… I think we are in for a long time of anti-digital culture and I think it’s digging in already. Things that can’t be digitized, meaningful, beautiful things like mindfulness and food-ism and making your own ukuleles."

Watch (and read!) Virginia's conversation with Malcolm Gladwell


"Goddamn, Virginia Heffernan is brilliant.” 

— Jessica Grose, Lenny Letter

One of the writers I most admire.
— Gwyneth Paltrow

An illuminating guide to the internet.
— The Wall Street Journal