Judith Newman

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Judith Newman
Born (1961-03-28) March 28, 1961 (age 58)
OccupationJournalist, author
Alma mater
Notable works
  • You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: The Diary of a New (Older) Mother
  • To Siri With Love

Judith B. Newman (born March 28, 1961)[1][2] is an American journalist and author. She writes about entertainment, relationships, parenthood, business, beauty, books, science, and popular culture. Her work has run in more than fifty publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harper's, The Wall Street Journal, Allure (where she served as Contributing Editor) and Vogue.[3] Newman's books include the memoirs You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: The Diary of a New (Older) Mother [4][5] and To Siri With Love.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Newman was raised in Scarsdale, New York.[7] Her father, Edmund Newman, was a beer salesman[8] and later an executive for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company,[9] and her mother, Frances (née Fiorillo; 1926–2011), was a doctor.[10] Newman graduated from Scarsdale High School[11] in 1977[12] and received a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1981.[13] She received a Master of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 1984.[14]

Journalism career[edit]

Since the 1980s, Newman has written for magazines, newspapers and periodicals. Her articles include: "At Your Disposal – The Funeral Industry Prepares for Boom Times" (Harper's, 1997),[15] "I Have Seen Cancers Disappear" (Discover, 2001),[16] "Chasing Britney" (Allure, 2007),[17] "How the Kardashians Made $65 Million Last Year" (The Hollywood Reporter, 2011)[18] and "Making Waves with No Apology" (The New York Times, 2011).[19]

Newman has been described as "one of the most successful freelance journalists today".[20] Her article "I Have Seen Cancers Disappear" was selected for inclusion in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.[3][21] On the other hand, Newman's writing has found critics: a review in Jezebel of her article "Chasing Britney" commented that she squandered "an opportunity to question the common wisdom that it is Britney [Spears] who is insane, not those around her."[22]

Newman has written a regular column for Ladies Home Journal ("My Life as a Mom") and has written sex columns for Mademoiselle and American Health. She wrote a relationship column for the defunct teen girls' magazine YM, and an etiquette column ("Manner Up") for Parade. Newman contributes book reviews to People[23] and The New York Times Book Review.[24] Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul said, "Judith Newman could review a potato peel and it would be wry, insightful, and entertaining."[25]

Newman's approach to narrative and criticism has occasionally irritated some of the prominent people about whom she writes. In response to a Vanity Fair story about the downfall of Rosie O'Donnell's Rosie magazine, O'Donnell, from the witness stand during a trial, stated that Newman was like "the nebbishy Jewish girl who worked for the audiovisual club in high school."[26] Publisher Judith Regan criticized Newman following the publication of Newman's 2005 story, "The Devil and Miss Regan," in Vanity Fair.[27] The Daily Telegraph wrote that "Regan would happily knock the teeth out of Judith Newman."[28]

In January 2014, Newman's essay "Wikipedia, What Does Judith Newman Have to Do to Get a Page?" appeared in The New York Times. In the essay, Newman questioned Wikipedia's editorial policies, including its criteria for selecting and deleting articles, and requested that Wikipedia editors help with creating an article about her.[29] That same day, a Wikipedia article was written on Newman, who chronicled her "Wiki-Validation" in a second New York Times column a week later: "Wikipedia may be a haven for cranks and pedants, but it is also amazing," Newman wrote. "Why some guy named SSSilvers [sic], who describes his interests as 'light opera, musical theater and global warming,' would take hours out of his day to noodle with a stranger's page is mysterious, and yet touching."[30][31]


In 1993, Newman wrote Bath (Chic Simple), and the following year she wrote Body (Chic Simple), both for the Chic Simple Components series.[32][33] In 1994, she also authored Tell Me Another One: A Woman's Guide to Men's Classic Lines, which focuses on male pick-up lines.[34] The idea for the book came to Newman after she was jilted.[35] The next year, Newman wrote Parents from Hell: Unexpurgated Tales of Good Intentions Gone Awry.[36]

In 1996, Newman co-wrote Just Between Us Girls: Secrets About Men from the Madam Who Knows with "Mayflower Madam" Sydney Biddle Barrows.[37] In 2013, she collaborated with Samantha Geimer on The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski.[38] A reviewer in The Guardian wrote, "[The Girl] might be the most important and invaluable book of the century so far ... an emotional rollercoaster ... smart and articulate".[39]

Newman's memoir, You Make Me Feel Like An Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother, was published in 2004.[5] It details the challenges of getting pregnant at the age of 40, after "seven years of science," $70,000, and nine months of nausea. A Publishers Weekly review noted: "While humorless and/or politically correct readers may bristle at Newman's antics, everyone else will be rolling in the aisles, reading out funny parts to perfect strangers."[4]

In August 2017, HarperCollins released Newman's To Siri with Love, a collection of stories about life with her autistic son, Gus. The book was inspired by her 2014 New York Times essay of the same name.[40][41] A New York Times notable book of 2017,[6] it was described by The Washington Post as "above all a close and wise portrait, Newman's love letter not to technology but to her son."[42] To Siri with Love was criticized by people in the autism community, who perceived the book as anti-autistic and an invasion of her son's privacy. A campaign to boycott the book was launched on Twitter using the hashtag #BoycottToSiri.[43][44][45]

Personal life[edit]

Newman lives in New York City. She has twin sons,[46] born in 2001.[8] Newman and her husband, John, maintained separate apartments in Manhattan for the duration of their 25-year marriage. He died in June 2018.[47]


  1. ^ "Newman, Judith 1961(?)-". Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2005. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
  2. ^ Newman, Judith (January 16, 2014). "Wiki-Validation: A Wikipedia Page for Judith Newman Is Approved". New York Times.
  3. ^ a b The Editors (February 5, 2012). "Up Front". Sunday Book Review. The New York Times. p. BR6. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Newman, Judith (February 23, 2004). "You Make Me Feel Like An Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Newman, Judith (2004). You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: The Diary of a New (Older) Mother. New York: Miramax Books. ISBN 1401351891. OCLC 54912993.
  6. ^ a b New York Times Staff (November 22, 2017). "100 Notable Books of 2017". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Newman, Judith (2004). You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman. New York: Miramax Books. p. 75. ISBN 1401351891. OCLC 54912993.
  8. ^ a b Gerszberg, Caren Osten (December 8, 2010). "Drinking Diaries: Interview with Judith Newman". Drinking Diaries. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Dr. Fiorillo, Judge's Daughter, Engaged to Schlitz Executive" (PDF). The Herald Statesman. Yonkers, NY. March 19, 1954. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Class Notes" (PDF). Alumni Journal. SUNY Upstate Medical University, College of Medicine. Winter 2005. p. 37. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  11. ^ Grove, Lloyd (November 12, 2003). "Not So Rosie; Do You Believe in Miracles?". Jewish World Review. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "Judith Newman Class of 1977, Scarsdale High School". Classmates.com. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  13. ^ "Newman '81: 'Essential condition (of motherhood) is absurdity'". Wesleyan Connect. May 24, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "Judith B. Newman". Online Alumni Directory. Columbia University.
  15. ^ Newman, Judith (November 1997). "At Your Disposal" (PDF). Harper's. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Newman, Judith (May 2001). "I Have Seen Cancers Disappear". Discover. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "Chasing Britney: Behind the Scenes". Allure. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  18. ^ Newman, Judith & Bruce, Leslie (February 16, 2011). "How the Kardashians Made $65M Last Year". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  19. ^ Newman, Judith (August 5, 2011). "In Defense of Curly Hair: Making Waves with No Apology". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  20. ^ Gugliucci, Jayna. "Navigating Celebrity Journalism" Archived January 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, The Montclarion, Montclair State University, October 4, 2013
  21. ^ Angier, Natalie, ed. (2002). The Best American Science and Nature Writing. Boston: Mariner Books. p. 198. ISBN 9780618134786. OCLC 50698979.
  22. ^ Holmes, Anna. "In Defense of the Badly-Behaved Britney Spears", Jezebel.com, August 17, 2007
  23. ^ "Reviews by Judith Newman". People. 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Williams, John (August 30, 2013). "Book Review Podcast: Life With J. Paul Getty". New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  25. ^ "Pamela Paul Tweets Judith Newman". Muckrack. August 30, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  26. ^ Grove, Lloyd & Lipsky-Karasz, Elisa (January 8, 2014). "Steamy Paris Is Hot Ticket". Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  27. ^ Newman, Judith (January 2005). "The Devil and Miss Regan". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  28. ^ Leonard, Tom (April 11, 2005). "Is This the Angriest Woman in the Media?". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  29. ^ Newman, Judith (January 8, 2014). "Wikipedia-Mania: Wikipedia, What Does Judith Newman Have to Do to Get a Page?". New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  30. ^ Newman, Judith (January 16, 2014). "Wiki-Validation: A Wikipedia Page for Judith Newman Is Approved". New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  31. ^ McCauley, Dana (October 6, 2015). "Think twice before you go after encyclopaedic stardom like these Wikipedia rejects". News.com.au. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  32. ^ Newman, Judith (1993). Bath (Chic Simple). Knopf. ISBN 0679427635. OCLC 27726416.
  33. ^ Newman, Judith (1994). Body (Chic Simple). Knopf. ISBN 0679432248. OCLC 317478990.
  34. ^ Kridler, Chris (February 13, 1994). "Tell Me Another One: A Woman's Guide to Men's." Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  35. ^ Slater, Joyce R. (March 7, 1994). "Time's Change, But Not The Lines Men Try". Chicago Tribune.
  36. ^ Newman, Judith (1995). Parents from Hell: Unexpurgated Tales of Good Intentions Gone Awry. Plume. ASIN 0452272343 – via Amazon.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
  37. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (1996). "Just Between Us Girls". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  38. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (September 20, 2013). "Her Story". New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  39. ^ Mitchell, Victoria Coran (September 29, 2013). "Roman Polanski and the Sin of Simplification". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  40. ^ Newman, Judith (October 17, 2014). "To Siri With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple's Siri". New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  41. ^ "To Siri With Love". harpercollins.com. HarperCollins. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  42. ^ Fisher, Jamie (August 21, 2017). "Review: To Siri With Love". Washington Post. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  43. ^ Frazier, Andrea. "People Want To Boycott 'To Siri With Love,' Saying It Invades The Privacy Of A Boy With Autism". Romper. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  44. ^ "Autistic People Boycott Controversial Book Written by Mom of Teen on the Spectrum". The Mighty. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  45. ^ "An Open Letter to HarperCollins about TO SIRI WITH LOVE". BOOK RIOT. December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  46. ^ "Frances (Newman) Fiorillo M.D. (1926–2011)". Obituary. The Journal News. White Plains, NY. July 28, 2011.
  47. ^ "He's Going Back to His Former Wife. Sort Of". Retrieved August 25, 2018.

External links[edit]