“Not to mince words, the New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum is one of the best, if not the best, critic writing about TV today.”
—Los Angeles Times
New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Emily Nussbaum is the author of I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through The TV Revolution, a collection that combines timely new works with previously published essays and profiles, mostly from her groundbreaking stint as TV critic at The New Yorker. The New York Times called I Like To Watch “confident, dauntless criticism — smart and spiky, brilliantly sure of itself and the medium it depicts.” In a starred review, Kirkus raved about it as “sharp, insightful writing that firmly positions Nussbaum as one of the leading TV critics of our time.” The Los Angeles Review of Books described Nussbaum as “a striking prose stylist, fierce and chummy by turns, with an illuminating analytic eye — exactly the qualities you want in a critic.”
“Taken together, the pieces in I Like to Watch form a searching, brilliant history of American attraction, repulsion, and fascination in the era of peak TV. The book assembles a picture, alive with rigor and pleasure, that only Nussbaum could paint of a medium that has risen and transformed into a high-culture institution that’s also an ever-shifting experiment about scorn and anxiety and desire. We’re lucky to have this record of it, as well as this casual reminder that criticism, at its very best, is an irreplaceable thrill.”
—Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
Nussbaum previously worked as the culture editor at New York Magazine, where she created “The Approval Matrix” and wrote essays and profiles on multiple subjects, among them pop culture, feminism, and academia. In the past, she worked for Slate, where she wrote the “Summary Judgment” column; at The New York Times, where she wrote the “Reruns” column for the Arts and Leisure section; and at Lingua Franca and Nerve, among other publications. In 2014, she won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. In 2016, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, for “television reviews written with an affection that never blunts the shrewdness of her analysis or the easy authority of her writing.” She has a master’s in Poetry from New York University and a bachelor’s from Oberlin in English and Creative Writing.
“Some critics, even great ones, you read to agree or disagree with them, but Emily Nussbaum writing about television is something else again. As you read her, you can feel her enlarging your mind: not just what you think about the show at hand or television itself, but pop culture and our place inside it. Her fantastically smart work has always been a pleasure to read a week at a time; this book proves she’s equally great to binge, and ‘Confessions of the Human Shield,’ a new essay on how to think about art in the time of #MeToo, is essential twenty-first-century reading.”
—Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway
Nussbaum is currently working on a book about the origins of reality television. On her Twitter feed, which reaches nearly 300k followers, she writes about television, movies, books, politics, and other topics. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband (technology journalist Clive Thompson) and their two children. She doesn’t have a favorite television show, but under pressure, she’ll choose Slings and Arrows.
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