Named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR • Harper’s Bazaar • CrimeReads • Electric Literature • Autostraddle
In this thrilling story of survival and anger, a woman has her whole life turned upside down after speaking out against workplace hostility–and inadvertently becomes the leader of a cultural movement.
Eliza Bright was living the dream as an elite video game coder at Fancy Dog Games when her private life suddenly became public. But is Eliza Bright a brilliant, self-taught coder bravely calling out the toxic masculinity and chauvinism that pervades her workplace and industry? Or, is Eliza Bright a woman who needs to be destroyed to protect "the sanctity of gaming culture"? It depends on who you ask... When Eliza reports an incident of workplace harassment that is quickly dismissed, she's forced to take her frustrations to a journalist who blasts her story across the Internet. She's fired and doxxed, and becomes a rallying figure for women across America. But she's also enraged the beast that is male gamers on 4Chan and Reddit, whose collective, unreliable voice narrates our story. Soon Eliza is in the cross-hairs of the gaming community, threatened and stalked as they monitor her every move online and across New York City. As the violent power of an angry male collective descends upon everyone in Eliza's life, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who to trust, even when she's eventually taken in and protected by an under-the-radar Collective known as the Sixsterhood. The violence moves from cyberspace to the real world, as a vicious male super-fan known only as The Inspectre is determined to exact his revenge on behalf of men everywhere. We watch alongside the Sixsterhood and subreddit incels as this dramatic cat-and-mouse game plays out to reach its violent and inevitable conclusion. This is an extraordinary, unputdownable novel that explores the dark recesses of the Internet and male rage, and the fragile line between the online world and real life. It's a thrilling story of female resilience and survival, packed with a powerful feminist message.
A.E. Osworth is Part-Time Faculty at The New School, where they teach digital storytelling to undergraduates. They've spent eight years writing all over the internet, including a stint as Geekery Editor for Autostraddle. Their work has also been published in Quartz, Mashable, Electric Literature, Guernica and Paper Darts, among others.
"We Are Watching Eliza Bright
is a novel that takes on our techy zeitgeist at its silicon core. It's is a novel vital for our time. Fun and smart, but always deeply insightful."—Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning
"A.E. Osworth takes readers on heck of a ride... By the time you’re done reading, you will question everything you think you know."—NPR
“The book I most fervently devoured this year.”—Emily VanDerWerff, Vox
“This book is unflinching in its observations about fan culture and difficult to put down, thanks to some high-action moments of conflict and violence—both real and pixelated—that really stick with you. It’s all packaged in Osworth’s exceedingly enjoyable prose and their smart, funny, diverse, flawed cast of characters.”—Kate Gorton, Autostraddle