Nev Schulman
author of IN REAL LIFE
Nev Schulman is famous as the host of MTV’s Catfish, where he investigates situations where people fall in love online with…someone who’s not entirely the person they say they are. Schulman is a good investigator because the same thing happened to him. In his new book In Real Life, Schulman explains how to stay sane online (and why to occasionally stay off social media), all while honestly revealing his own vulnerabilities.


KIRKUS REVIEW

Searching for the overlap of our online selves and our “real life” selves.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the words “Internet dating” were a badge of dishonor, considered the last-ditch effort for single men and women. Of course, with the Internet now entirely fluid in popular culture, it becomes easy to misrepresent yourself online. Catfish is the MTV series started by Schulman (itself an extension of his earlier documentary of the same name), someone who fell hook, line and sinker for online dating deception. With this book, the author aspires to create an extension of that show, to “dig into the deeper issues that motivate” such deception and that motivate anyone who spends significant time on their online relationships. Schulman makes inroads deep into armchair-quarterbacking territory with broad psychological generalizations that seem derived from his own experience and the carefully chosen examples his show has chosen to feature. A section titled “Fear” declares, “No duh, right? Hiding behind a fake profile is a pretty good sign that someone is terrified of being themselves.” Catfish fans could take umbrage at a reviewer pulling a quote that makes Schulman an easy target, but every page is peppered with bromides that offer little in the way of useful insight, aimed more at establishing the author as, in his words, “a guru on digital love.” There are islands of good advice, however—e.g., “invest in creating the content of your life” rather than a well-curated Facebook timeline—but more than half the book is more concerned with Schulman’s positioning himself as a guru than attaining any depth.

Another quote from the book, one more telling about “catfishing,” comes from comedian Marc Maron, who said that every status update is essentially a plea: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”


Recent Interviews

Luis Alberto Urrea

author of THE WATER MUSEUM

Kirkus Interview

April 21, 2015
THE WATER MUSEUM by Luis Alberto Urrea Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >

Fatima Bhutto

author of THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT MOON

Kirkus Interview

April 14, 2015
THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT MOON by Fatima Bhutto Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >

Upcoming Kirkus Interviews

April 28, 2015
Mona Eltahawy
May 5, 2015
Craig Johnson
author of DRY BONES