The Secret Life

Three True Stories of the Digital Age

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
From the award-winning author of The Illuminations, a significant and timely work of non-fiction by one of the most important writers of his generation.

Julian Assange, a man who, five years ago, seemed to herald a new, enlightened form of democracy -- until, that is, the apparent heroism of WikiLeaks became compromised by his hubris and paranoia. Satoshi Nakamoto, another man who radically reshaped the business of information and secrecy on a global scale. He is known as the elusive inventor of Bitcoin, but who is the real Satoshi -- a lone wolf or a collective of individuals with the talent to reimagine the financial wheel? And Ronald Pinn, a man who does not exist at all, except in the furthest, darkest reaches of O'Hagan's internet use. Driven by an interest in the ease with which it is possible to create an identity in an online world, O'Hagan journeys into the dark web where everything -- sex, drugs, guns -- is for sale.
The Secret Life is about these elusive individuals, written in three individual yet deeply connected essays. It is a dazzling book about the porousness between genius and madness, between fact and fiction. It is about nothing less than modern personality in the digital age.

PRAISE FOR

Praise for The Illuminations:
 • "Hypnotic. . . . Superb. . . . O'Hagan's style is scrupulous. The book reads as spare, despite his astonishing ability to create a cast of rounded, credible voices. . . . Beautiful. . . . Like Virginia Woolf's lighthouse beam sweeping across the dark bay, O'Hagan's illuminations are searing. Follow the rabbit to see." --Globe and Mail
 • "What makes [The Illuminations] remarkable, in part, is a bravura performance in which O'Hagan moves seamlessly between a seniors' complex in coastal Scotland and the baked landscapes of war-torn Afghanistan. . . . Few authors have depicted the perilous seduction of military life with such force and clarity. . . .[It is] a novel that consistently exploits major paradoxes with intelligence and humanity." --Toronto Star
 • "[A] harsh and soulful novel." --New York Times