Virtual Event: Sherry Turkle


The Empathy Diaries:
A Memoir

in conversation with RANA FOROOHAR


March 4, 2021
7:00 PM ET


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Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes eminent clinical psychologist and writer SHERRY TURKLE—author of Alone Together and Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age—for a discussion of her latest book, The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir. She will be joined in conversation by RANA FOROOHAR, associate editor at the Financial Times and author of Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles–And All of Us.

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About The Empathy Diaries

For decades, Sherry Turkle has shown how we remake ourselves in the mirror of our machines. Here, she illuminates our present search for authentic connection in a time of uncharted challenges. Turkle has spent a career composing an intimate ethnography of our digital world; now, marked by insight, humility, and compassion, we have her own.

In this vivid and poignant narrative, Turkle ties together her coming-of-age and her pathbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. Growing up in postwar Brooklyn,Turkle searched for clues to her identity in a house filled with mysteries. She mastered the codes that governed her mother's secretive life. She learned never to ask about her absent scientist father—and never to use his name, her name. Before empathy became a way to find connection, it was her strategy for survival.

Turkle's intellect and curiosity brought her to worlds on the threshold of change. She learned friendship at a Harvard-Radcliffe on the cusp of coeducation during the antiwar movement, she mourned the loss of her mother in Paris as students returned from the 1968 barricades, and she followed her ambition while fighting for her place as a woman and a humanist at MIT. There, Turkle found turbulent love and chronicled the wonders of the new computer culture, even as she warned of its threat to our most essential human connections. The Empathy Diaries captures all this in rich detail—and offers a master class in finding meaning through a life's work.

Praise for The Empathy Diaries

“In this brilliantly integrated memoir, Sherry Turkle traces her metamorphosis from the gifted child of a disturbed man to the preeminent ethnographer of digital culture. One part intellectual history, one part daddy dearest, one part portrait of the critic as a young woman, this is a one-of-a-kind page-turner. Bravo!” —Gish Jen, author of The Resisters

“I’ve long marveled at the remarkable and inspiring career of Sherry Turkle. Her path, so courageously interdisciplinary, has been strewn with dazzling insights. And now, in just the kind of brave and brilliant memoir one would expect from her, she gives us her personal story, explaining how, in a mind like hers, the deeply personal is transformed into ideas that can be shared by us all.” —Rebecca Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex

“By respecting her own emotional, social, and intellectual history with careful—even loving—attention, Sherry Turkle shows what rescue from the crisis of technological disconnect looks like. Intimate, compassionate, and critical, her book instructs, edifies, and heals. A paradigmatic personal narrative, yet The Empathy Diaries is a tour de force of social science, saluting and protecting the precious intangibility that no machine can match—the quality that makes us human.” —James Carroll, author of The Truth at the Heart of the Lie

Rana Foroohar
Rana Foroohar

Rana Foroohar

Rana Foroohar is Global Business Columnist and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times, based in New York. She is also CNN’s global economic analyst. Her first book, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business, was shortlisted for the Financial Times McKinsey Book of the Year award in 2016. Her second book, Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles – And All of Us, was named Porchlight Business Book of the year. She is currently at work on her third book about the post-neoliberal world.

Sherry Turkle
Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller MauzeĢ Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A licensed clinical psychologist, she is the author of six books, including Alone Together and the New York Times bestseller Reclaiming Conversation, as well as the editor of three collections. A Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year, a TED speaker, and featured media commentator, she is a recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Humanities fellowships and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Photo Credit: Peter Urban


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Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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