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Nobody's Looking at You
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 304

Nobody's Looking at You

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. A 2019 NPR Staff Pick. "Malcolm is always worth reading; it can be instructive to see how much satisfying craft she brings to even the most trivial article." --Phillip Lopate, TLS Janet Malcolm’s previous collection, Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers, was “unmistakably the work of a master” (The New York Times Book Review). Like Forty-One False Starts, Nobody’s Looking at You brings together previously uncompiled pieces, mainly from The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. The title piece of this wonderfully eclectic collection is a profile of the fashion designer Eileen Fisher, whose mother often said to her, ...

The Journalist and the Murderer
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 177

The Journalist and the Murderer

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-06-22
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  • Publisher: Vintage

A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit by a convicted murder againt the journalist who wrote a book about his crime, Malcolm delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. Featuring the real-life lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists acr...

Forty-one False Starts
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 320

Forty-one False Starts

A National Book Critics Circle Finalist for Criticism A deeply Malcolmian volume on painters, photographers, writers, and critics. Janet Malcolm's In the Freud Archives and The Journalist and the Murderer, as well as her books about Sylvia Plath and Gertrude Stein, are canonical in the realm of nonfiction—as is the title essay of this collection, with its forty-one "false starts," or serial attempts to capture the essence of the painter David Salle, which becomes a dazzling portrait of an artist. Malcolm is "among the most intellectually provocative of authors," writes David Lehman in The Boston Globe, "able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight." Here, in Forty-one F...

Psychoanalysis
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 188

Psychoanalysis

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-06-08
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  • Publisher: Vintage

From the author of In the Freud Archives and The Journalist and the Murderer comes an intensive look at the practice of psychoanalysis through interviews with “Aaron Green,” a Freudian analyst in New York City. Malcolm is accessible and lucid in describing the history of psychoanalysis and its development in the United States. It provides rare insight into the contradictory world of psychoanalytic training and treatment and a foundation for our understanding of psychiatry and mental health. "Janet Malcom has managed somehow to peer into the reticent, reclusive world of psychoanalysis and to report to us, with remarkable fidelity, what she has seen. When I began reading I thought condescendingly, 'She will get the facts right, and everything else wrong.' She does get the facts right, but far more pressive, she has been able to capture and convey the claustral atmosphere of the profession. Her book is journalism become art." —Joseph Andelson, The New York Times Book Review

Janet Malcolm: The Last Interview
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

Janet Malcolm: The Last Interview

A provocative collection of interviews with the sublimely talented author of The Journalist and the Murderer The legendary journalist, Janet Malcolm, opened her most famous work The Journalist and the Murderer with the line: “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.” Ever since its publication in 1980, she only increased her reputation as a devastatingly sharp writer, whose eye for observation is matched only by her formal inventiveness and philosophical interrogations of the relationship between journalist and subject. Predictably, as an interview subject herself, she was an intimidating mark. In this collection, interviewers tangle with their own projections and identifications, while she often, gamely, plays along. Full of insights about her writing process, the craft of journalism, and her own analysis of her most famous works, this collection proves that Janet Malcolm is just as elusive and enlightening in conversation as she was on paper.

Reading Chekhov
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 224

Reading Chekhov

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-12-01
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  • Publisher: Granta Books

In Reading Chekhov Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer and journalist. Her close readings of Chekhov's stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from his life and framed by an account of a recent journey she made to St Petersburg. Malcolm demonstrates how the shadow of death that hovered over most of Chekhov's literary career - he became consumptive in his twenties and died in his forties - is almost everywhere reflected in the work. She writes of his childhood, his relationship with his family, his marriage, his travels, his early success, his exile to Yalta - always with an eye to connecting them to his themes and characters.

Psychoanalysis
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

Psychoanalysis

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-12-01
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  • Publisher: Granta Books

The process known as psychoanalysis is sometimes revered, sometimes derided, and most often misunderstood. What good does it do? Can it help anyone? What risks does it pose to both patient and analyst? None of these questions can be easily answered, but in Janet Malcolm's narrative, in which all her skills as a reporter and interviewer come into play, their complexity is limpidly revealed.

Two Lives
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 229

Two Lives

How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis?" Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism. The pair, of course, is Gertrude Stein, the modernist master "whose charm was as conspicuous as her fatness" and "thin, plain, tense, sour" Alice B. Toklas, the "worker bee" who ministered to Stein's needs throughout their forty-year expatriate "marriage." As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple's charmed life in a village in Vichy France, her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. "The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties," she writes. The portrait of the legendary co...

The Silent Woman
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 224

The Silent Woman

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2013-01-16
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  • Publisher: Vintage

In an astonishing feat of literary detection, one of the most provocative critics of our time and the author of In the Freud Archives and The Purloined Clinic offers an elegantly reasoned meditation on the art of biography. In The Silent Woman, Janet Malcolm examines the biographies of Sylvia Plath to create a book not about Plath’s life but about her afterlife: how her estranged husband, the poet Ted Hughes, as executor of her estate, tried to serve two masters—Plath’s art and his own need for privacy; and how it fell to his sister, Olwyn Hughes, as literary agent for the estate, to protect him by limiting access to Plath’s work. Even as Malcolm brings her skepticism to bear on the claims of biography to present the truth about a life, a portrait of Sylvia Plath emerges that gives us a sense of “knowing” this tragic poet in a way we have never known her before. And she dispels forever the innocence with which most of us have approached the reading of any biography.

In The Freud Archives
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

In The Freud Archives

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-12-01
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  • Publisher: Granta Books

Who will inherit the secrets of Sigmund Freud? Who will protect his reputation? Who may destroy it? Janet Malcolm's investigation into the personalities who clash over Freud's legacy has become a celebrated story of seduction and betrayal, love and hatred, fantasy and reality. It is both a comedy and a tragedy. Malcolm's cast of characters includes K. R. Eissler, a venerable psychoanalyst and keeper of the Freud flame; Jeffrey Mason, a flamboyant Sanskrit scholar and virulent anti-Freudian; and Peter Swales, a former assistant to the Rolling Stones and indefatigable researcher. Each of them thinks they know the truth about Freud, and each needs the help of the other. Malcolm endeavours to untangle the causes of their rivalry and soured friendships, while the flaws and mysteries of Freud's early work tower in the background.