E! Entertainment

Now in its third printing, E! Entertainment (2014) sparkles with the static of reality TV personalities, the privileged dramas of MTV's The Hills and Bravo's Real Housewives, the public tragedies of Amanda Knox and Anna Nicole Smith. Durbin traces the migratory patterns of the flightiest members of our televised demimonde, from the vacant bedrooms of the Playboy Mansion to the modern gothic set of Kim Kardashian's fairytale wedding, rendering a fabulous, fallen world in a language of diamond-studded lavishness.

Praise for E!  Entertainment:

"Durbin forces the shows to perform their own critique without moralizing or soapboxing. Durbin’s writing enables the shows to speak for themselves in a way that the shows alone may not...Powerful and sinister."—The Rumpus

"Durbin makes a clear Thoreauvian argument against consumerism while celebrating the women who succeed within this broken system, a thirst for success and savagery that is most commonly thought of as the domain of men. This desire for comfort and entitlement of personhood, belies the very shallowness which their reality costs. Durbin understands this sacrifice and while deconstructing poetic codes gives each wife a veranda of her own, a Malibu view." -The Art Book Review

“Since it’s clear that ours is a Golden Age of TV it makes perfect sense that it might be a perfect moment for some Golden Age-type writing on reality television. Boom! That’s what you get in Durbin’s yummy delve into housewives, sexy sirens, lonesome doomed doves, and other boys and girls behaving badly but always with a sense of power."-Jerry Saltz, senior art critic, New York Magazine

“Kate Durbin is pop culture’s stenographer. E! Entertainment ingeniously peers inside the television static, revealing the many fictions that make up our reality, and the many realities which make up our fictions. It’s also a lot of fun to read. I love it.”-Heidi Montag, star of MTV’s reality show The Hills

"Probably a work of genius." -Flavorwire

"Smart and weirdly engaging."—Publisher's Weekly

“A genius book.” —Enclave


"I think it’s really cool that you write books about pop culture. I read your chapters on Lindsay Lohan & Anna Nicole Smith―love them both."--Josie Stevens, star of E! reality TV show Married to Rock

"Even more surreal than what we get on TV, and also subversively funny." -XO Jane

"Thoroughly Hollywood and completely feminist...a complex commentary on the objectifying Hefner franchise." -Ms. Magazine

"Durbin elevates petty O.C. arguments between Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag to the status of serious literature." -Nylon

“In addition to reminding us that reality is often stranger than fiction, Kate Durbin’s E! Entertainment captures the specific absurdity of reality that comes to life on the page even more than on television. With an unparalleled eye for detail and a scientific commitment to objectivity…E! Entertainment is a fascinating and insightful read that dazzles like its thousand Hollywood smiles and chills with the subtleties that often go unnoticed on TV.” -Small Press Distribution Editor’s Pick

"Durbin breaks down reality television and transcribes it into a vivarium of microdetail. The scripted moments of the Real Housewives shows transform into something else entirely when beamed from televised drama into ecosystems of language, fashion, and class." -Bookish

"I realize I’m not holding the remote. Durbin is. Her transcriptions press pause or fast forward or slow stuff down. Moments get reborn. I get reminded of how the literary arts can have an alchemical effect on time. However, when Durbin uses her alchemy to transform something that is already unreal, reality TV, the result is unnamable. You can’t slow down time where time doesn’t exist. Yet Durbin does. She’s a witch." -Myriam Gurba, Radar Productions

“Kate Durbin is the brilliant combination of Warhol and Warhollian superstar--both pop satirist and performance artist. Courtroom defiant La Lohan, the clownish pathos of Anna Nicole Smith: these are Durbin's Jackie O's and car crashes. E! Entertainment, is both rapturous and ravaging of pop culture, sending up the paparazzi's glare, the vampiric obsession with the lives of reality starlets, endlessly reported on E! news by fakebaked anchors with colgate smiles." -Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines

"There is no one sporting hypermediaflesh like Kate Durbin’s. With E! Entertainment she strips the TV image from its old curves, reupholstering 2D-packed pixelshit into clipped components, sentences, where somehow less surrounded they take on the shape of psychically deformed wallpaper. These are our icon baths hobbling toward you, reciting script-prayer in mime of sleep, and now Durbin is their lord." -Blake Butler, author of Sky Saw

"Durbin's rendition of the Real Housewives shows, by returning our focus to the very nature of the suffering (and pleasure) of the Housewife, challenges us to do something other than disavow the castrated woman by exposing the lie of the Housewife, which is the lie of the Dead-girl, the always already failed and corpsed woman, which is, at its core, the lie of Capital." -Amanda Montei, PQ

"By recounting the actions of women from Lindsey Lohan to the Basketball Wives in matter-of-fact, objective language, Durbin actively does not make judgments about them―and in doing so calls attention to the types of criticisms regularly lauded at women in the public eye. Durbin’s book reassesses a culture that at once fixates on public images of women―voyeuristically watching their lives for entertainment―while simultaneously mocking, dismissing and condescending to them." -Bitch

"Durbin looks past the snobbish dismissal of reality tv to study Kim Kardashian's nuptials and Anna Nicole's trials and, secretly, all of our tribulations. Durbin's anti-satire demands to be read and read again, lest the paparazzi flashes blind you from seeing your own reflection." -Adult Magazine

"Conceptual writing has always been a kind of literary reality television, and reality television, in turn, has always been a sort of vernacular conceptualism. In E! Entertainment, Kate Durbin lets us linger over the lustrous details of the most authentically constructed works of our time, in all their inauthentic constructions. Here, we can plainly see "a microphone pack is viewable in the back of her dress"; "the back of her tank top pops out where her microphone pack is"; "a mic pack is viewable on the back of her shorts"; "a cameraman is viewable in the kitchen." And we ourselves are viewable in every line. Which brings home the degree to which we are all simultaneously exhibitionists and voyeurs under what Guy Debord would have called Spectacle. Or, maybe (as Tiqqun might ventriloquize Debord), we're all just girlfriends. Because "girlfriends tell each other what's really going on." But then again, as Wife Kyle notes, "her reality and my reality are two very different things." And ultimately, "we don't have any real proof" because our constructions now are false only so so long as they are actually documented: "Look! It‘s what I‘m hearing, huh. It‘s fake. Camera, camera [...] Watch this. She isn‘t real. Look." Look again. Watch this closely. Read this through. Somewhere, "My Reality" by Jordan Pruitt is playing. "And that‘s hard for me to believe, honestly. The reality, the reality, the reality of it, I am like honest girl beyond belief." -Craig Dworkin, critic and author of No Medium