Emily Nemens is a writer, illustrator, and editor. Her debut novel, The Cactus League, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in February 2020. “I can’t think of another book that so carefully examines the complex ecosystem of professional sport,” writes Chris Bachelder, author of The Throwback Special. “With both compassion and objectivity, Nemens deftly depicts the rich lives and stories that swirl beneath the ‘meaningless’ innings of spring training.” Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Charles McGrath says, “What really sustains the book is … Nemens’s capacious, cleareyed understanding, which goes way beyond that of the casual fan, and her evident sympathy for her characters… [I]n The Cactus League she provides her readers with what amounts to a miniature, self-enclosed world that is funny and poignant and lovingly observed.”
In 2018 Nemens became the seventh editor of the Paris Review, the nation’s preeminent literary quarterly. Since her arrival, the magazine has seen record-high circulation, produced a second season of its acclaimed podcast, and won the 2020 National Magazine Award for Fiction, four Pushcart prizes, and a PEN/Robert J. Dau Best Debut Fiction prize.
Nemens grew up in Seattle and received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she studied art history and studio art. She completed an MFA degree in fiction at Louisiana State University. As an illustrator, she’s collaborated with Harvey Pekar, published her work in the New Yorker, and her watercolor portraits of every woman in congress were featured across the web and on national TV. Her short stories have appeared in Blackbird, Esquire, n+1, the Iowa Review, Hobart, and the Gettysburg Review. She lives in New York.