Surveys: a novel

9781584351788“I read Surveys as a co-editor of Semiotext(e), and knew we had to publish it. Like Bernadette Corporation’s group novel Reena Spaulings, it mirrors and dismantles the classic, female, coming-of-age narrative.” —Chris Kraus for Dazed & Confused 

“The satire in Surveys is bone-dry; its best lines could cut cocaine. There is a Xanax-y workaday minimalism (we might call it ‘Mall of America Realism’) in its most straightforward passages, and there are moments where Stagg lets her feel for the poetry in the quotidian fly.” —Philippa Snow for 3:AM magazine

“At its most perspicacious, Surveys makes a fascinating cultural argument for the inherent intersections and cross-pollinations of vernacular—or more to the point, suburban—architectures and the wholesale commodification of the Internet.” —Erik Morse for ArtReview

Surveys is incessantly pointing to both the actual Internet and the Internet-as-void. Perhaps they are one and the same.” —Catherine Foulkrod for Bookforum

“[An] introspective take on how internet culture affects us.” —Matt Cherry for Bookwitty

“Stagg is a soulful, elegant writer, and her story is, ultimately, heartfelt, an exploration of young adult longing.” —Brazos Bookstore

“Stagg is a fearless writer. [Surveys] plays with stream of consciousness diatribes and obsessive inner thoughts to create a compelling and addictive story.” —Mish Way for Broadly

“[Surveys depicts] nascent elements of the emerging ‘Job Plot,’ a story about women who enter workplaces and are asked to follow rules that they know make little to no sense—until they do.” —Sulgana Misra for Brooklyn Magazine

“This debut novel describes crystal clear and razor sharp the emptiness, the stupidity, and the narcissism in the virtual world and social media.” —Bucchandlung Montag 

“Surveys is a crawling dark and razor sharp story for a generation who have grown up and carved out their identities online.” —Burning House Books

“In Natasha Stagg’s sharp yet dreamlike novel, the specifics at the center of the story aren’t important. Instead, she focuses on the periphery; the everyday life of someone obsessed with her own fame.” —Emily Books

“The catch-22 of adaptation and prediction repeats in every character throughout [Surveys], creating a subtle mood of ubiquitous paranoia.” —Shazia Hafiz Ramji for Full Stop

Surveys sets a new bar for how we talk about the role of the internet in contemporary literature: they aren’t separate things, with separate worlds; it’s all one experience, one consciousness.” —David Fishkind for HTMLGIANT

“Without altogether celebrating or condemning the contemporary obsession with online sharing, [Surveys] explores the roles we play and the selves we inhabit, online and IRL.” —Priscilla Frank for the Huffington Post

“I really liked Natasha Stagg’s Surveys, a newish novel published by Semiotext(e) about Internet fame.” —Johanna Fateman interviewed by Piper Marshall for Kaleidoscope

Surveys is as impossible to put down, or avoid, as the internet itself…Released on Chris Kraus’ Native Agents imprint, this fussily amorous debut novel is for fans of Elizabeth Hardwick, Cat Marnell, and Kraus herself.” —Anthony Strain for the Last Bookstore

“[Surveys] is a story about ‘now’ but without the gross proselytizing that sometimes comes with books about the world we live in today.” —Laia Garcia for Lenny Letter

“Stagg theorises that in the age of social media, nobody can be interested in the internet for the internet’s sake. Interest in the internet can only be self-interest, even subconsciously.” —Emma Marie Jones for the Lifted Brow

“If Marshall McLuhan rewrote ‘Cinderella,’ the result might come out looking something like this novel.” —Ruth Curry for Longreads

“The prose vaguely recalls the affectless monotone of the drug-addled rich kids who populated Bret Easton Ellis’s late-’80s novels…The text flits between sociological rumination and diaristic introspection.” —Houman Barekat for the Los Angeles Review of Books

Surveys is a fascinating meditation on not only fame but also the language of fame—the mimetic vocabulary of self-identification that twists in on itself and can infect adjacent perspectives without a second thought.” —Jane Yong Kim for the Los Angeles Times

“Surveys is a social tale on the infrastructure of our age. In a period when numbers are feelings and love is a coincidental encounter online, Stagg transfers changes the way we see ourselves and each other; she enlightens us to who we are.” —Petite Meller

“Despite its seemingly volatile meaning and detached tone, Surveys comes with an abrasiveness that doesn’t allow you to rub off the sense that online life is, at the end of the day, just indexable content.” —MH for Minor Literatures

“This is a very timely book about the economy and the way that capitalism is affecting people—especially young people in the modern era.” —Tom Roberge for MPR News

“Surveys is quick, brutal, and remarkably tender. Stagg’s storytelling swells with uncanny, hyperreal insight… Surveys is my favorite book of 2016.” —Hari Nef

“The era of the celebrity as spokesperson for social issues is upon us, and it’s necessary to ask ourselves if we’re listening for the right reasons.” —Ruby Brunton for the New Inquiry

“Told in the affectless, minimal style of Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight, [Surveys] avoids direct descriptions of the virtual world at its center, instead focusing on the anonymous hotel rooms and black-lit nightclubs that serve as its staging ground. Against this bland backdrop, the mechanics of the attention economy stand out with unnerving clarity.” —Namara Smith for the New York Times

“For Kraus, the early-adulthood coming-of-age novel is an important perennial. Her own favorites range from Mary McCarthy’s ‘The Company She Keeps’ to ‘Surveys.’” —Elaine Blair for the New Yorker

“Works like Tao Lin’s Taipei(2013) and Natasha Stagg’s Surveys (2016) understand that the experience of constant connectedness is patently not an experience of the sublime. Hyperconnectivity is experienced not heroically, but through a kind of paradoxically managed passivity.” —Adam Guy for the Oxonian Review

“Coming of age narratives are nothing new, but Stagg’s wry and carefully observed story of the destructive grip of social media on her female protagonist feels decidedly without precedent.” —Louise Benson, Melissa Ray, Helen Longstreth for POSTmatter‘s “Top 10 Books of 2016”

“Stagg​ ​has​ ​this​ ​incredible​ ​way​ ​of​ ​writing​ ​a​ ​completely​ ​detached​ ​yet​ ​likeable​ ​character.​” —Peach Mag for the Public

“The way Stagg portrays the experience of molding oneself according to hyper-real standards in order to appeal to other people is brilliant.” —Emily Wood for Rookie

“In a few years, there will probably be many books coming out about Internet addiction and the way it warps our senses of self-validation and changes the ways we seek fulfillment. But the authors will lag behind Natasha Stagg, who has already written that book, in a spare and lasting way.” —Mickie Meinhardt for the Rumpus


“All storied events—sex work, eating Subway, Standard hotel stays, breaking up, a family reunion—are leveled to the same plain plane. The whole thing’s got a pale tinnitus ring.” —Fiona Alison Duncan for Sex magazine

In Surveys, Natasha Stagg has coolly conjured a precarious and outrageous world built on ephemera and obsession. She is a savage chronicler of fame and identity—a rock and roll feminist version of Warhol in our time.” —Aurelie Sheehan, author of Demigods on Speedway

“The new world is scary, mobile and facile. Hysterical, clear-eyed and radically precise, Surveys is the first real look at the new game of primate society we’ve created for the young. Natasha Stagg is, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter, a truly killer writer.” —Choire Sicha, author of Very Recent History

(Google translated from Russian) “At first glance it may seem that Surveys  is a ‘pap’ for teenagers, but in fact it is a unique social study of the world in which we live.” —Anatasia Brain for The Simple + The Beyond

(Google translated from German) “Natasha Stagg writes a very precise language that renounces excessive valuations and instead unflinchingly elaborates the mechanisms of Internet fame and above all, jealousy.” —Spiegel

“[Surveys] captured thousands of millennial hearts.” —Spike Art Quarterly 

“It is a fantasy of the reality behind retouched images, and events unfolding in between carefully edited lines.” —Bianca Heuser for Ssense

(Google translated from Spanish) “In short, this is a modern book that deals with topics that until recently have been considered unimportant but have been showing their increasing importance.” Staf magazine

Surveys is a fabulous, stark page-turner.” —Fiona Alison Duncan for the Standard

“I really loved Natasha’s book because it made me feel like shit.” —Amalia Ulman for the Standard

“Colleen’s tale is as addictive to read as she seems addicted to sharing it, and if that’s not a metaphor for our obsession in today’s social media frenzy, I’m not sure what is.” —Adriana Lamirande for SutherlandGold Group

“[Surveys] brings together early-twenties angst, visibility politics, and an acute commentary on bullshit jobs.” —Whitney Mallett for Topical Cream

“Kraus has helped to establish a new canon by publishing work from new or undiscovered writers, including Michelle Tea, Fanny Howe, and Natasha Stagg.” —Julia Bosson for Vice

“The story Natasha Stagg tells in Surveys with astounding exactness and understanding [is] of that esoteric corner of the internet of which we all, at once, show disdain for and vie to be a part of.” —Neat Yohannes fro Vagabond City

“I recommend Natasha Stagg’s Surveys.” —Darcie Wilder

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