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Title The Journalist and the Murderer
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2011-06-22
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 176
ISBN 9780307797872
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. 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 across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.

Nobody S Looking At You by Janet Malcolm

Title Nobody s Looking at You
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2019-02-19
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780374718251
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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, “Nobody’s looking at you.” But in every piece in this volume, Malcolm looks closely and with impunity at a broad range of subjects, from Donald Trump’s TV nemesis Rachel Maddow, to the stiletto-heel-wearing pianist Yuju Wang, to “the big-league game” of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. In an essay called “Socks,” the Pevears are seen as the “sort of asteroid [that] has hit the safe world of Russian Literature in English translation,” and in “Dreams and Anna Karenina,” the focus is Tolstoy, “one of literature’s greatest masters of manipulative techniques.” Nobody’s Looking at You concludes with “Pandora’s Click,” a brief, cautionary piece about e-mail etiquette that was written in the early two thousands, and that reverberates—albeit painfully—to this day.

Forty One False Starts by Janet Malcolm

Title Forty one False Starts
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2013-05-07
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780374709723
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 False Starts, Malcolm brings together essays published over the course of several decades (largely in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books) that reflect her preoccupation with artists and their work. Her subjects are painters, photographers, writers, and critics. She explores Bloomsbury's obsessive desire to create things visual and literary; the "passionate collaborations" behind Edward Weston's nudes; and the character of the German art photographer Thomas Struth, who is "haunted by the Nazi past," yet whose photographs have "a lightness of spirit." In "The Woman Who Hated Women," Malcolm delves beneath the "onyx surface" of Edith Wharton's fiction, while in "Advanced Placement" she relishes the black comedy of the Gossip Girl novels of Cecily von Zeigesar. In "Salinger's Cigarettes," Malcolm writes that "the pettiness, vulgarity, banality, and vanity that few of us are free of, and thus can tolerate in others, are like ragweed for Salinger's helplessly uncontaminated heroes and heroines." "Over and over," as Ian Frazier writes in his introduction, "she has demonstrated that nonfiction—a book of reporting, an article in a magazine, something we see every day—can rise to the highest level of literature." One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013

Two Lives by Janet Malcolm

Title Two Lives
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2007-01-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 229
ISBN 0300137710
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 couple that emerges from this work is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat. Two Lives is also a work of literary criticism. "Even the most hermetic of [Stein's] writings are works of submerged autobiography," Malcolm writes. "The key of 'I' will not unlock the door to their meaning-you need a crowbar for that-but will sometimes admit you to a kind of anteroom of suggestion." Whether unpacking the accessible Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in which Stein "solves the koan of autobiography," or wrestling with The Making of Americans, a masterwork of "magisterial disorder," Malcolm is stunningly perceptive. Praise for the author: "[Janet Malcolm] is among the most intellectually provocative of authors . . .able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight."-David Lehman, Boston Globe "Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography."-Christopher Benfey

Psychoanalysis by Janet Malcolm

Title Psychoanalysis
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2011-06-08
Category Psychology
Total Pages 188
ISBN 9780307797834
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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

In The Freud Archives by Janet Malcolm

Title In the Freud Archives
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Release Date 1984
Category Incest victims
Total Pages 165
ISBN 0224029797
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Includes an afterword by the author In the Freud Archives tells the story of an unlikely encounter among three men: K. R. Eissler, the venerable doyen of psychoanalysis; Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, a flamboyant, restless forty-two-year-old Sanskrit scholar turned psychoanalyst turned virulent anti-Freudian; and Peter Swales, a mischievous thirty-five-year-old former assistant to the Rolling Stones and self-taught Freud scholar. At the center of their Oedipal drama are the Sigmund Freud Archives--founded, headed, and jealously guarded by Eissler--whose sealed treasure gleams and beckons to the community of Freud scholarship as if it were the Rhine gold. Janet Malcolm's fascinating book first appeared some twenty years ago, when it was immediately recognized as a rare and remarkable work of nonfiction. A story of infatuation and disappointment, betrayal and revenge, In the Freud Archives is essentially a comedy. But the powerful presence of Freud himself and the harsh bracing air of his ideas about unconscious life hover over the narrative and give it a tragic dimension.

The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm

Title The Silent Woman
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2013-01-16
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780307830616
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Iphigenia In Forest Hills by Janet Malcolm

Title Iphigenia in Forest Hills
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2011-03-29
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780300168839
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Malcolm's riveting new book tells the story of a murder trial in the insular Bukharan-Jewish community of Forest Hills, Queens, that captured national attention.

Reading Chekhov by Janet Malcolm

Title Reading Chekhov
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2007-12-18
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780307431660
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

To illuminate the mysterious greatness of Anton Chekhov’s writings, Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer, and journalist. Her close readings of the stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from Chekhov’s life and framed by an account of Malcolm’s journey to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yalta. She writes of Chekhov’s childhood, his relationships, his travels, his early success, and his self-imposed “exile”—always with an eye to connecting them to themes and characters in his work. Lovers of Chekhov as well as those new to his work will be transfixed by Reading Chekhov.

Title The Crime of Sheila McGough
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2013-01-16
Category True Crime
Total Pages 176
ISBN 9780307830579
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"[N]o other writer tells better stories about the perpetual, the unwinnable, battle between narrative and truth." --The New York Times Book Review The Crime of Sheila McGough is Janet Malcolm's brilliant exposé of miscarriage of justice in the case of Sheila McGough, a disbarred lawyer recently released from prison. McGough had served 2 1/2 years for collaborating with a client in his fraud, but insisted that she didn't commit any of the 14 felonies she was convicted. An astonishingly persuasive condemnation of the cupidity of American law and its preference for convincing narrative rather than the truth, this is also a story with an unconventional heroine. McGough is a zealous defense lawyer duped by a white-collar con man; a woman who lives, at the age of 54, with her parents; a journalistic subject who frustrates her interviewer with her maddening literal-mindedness. Spirited, illuminating, delightfully detailed, The Crime of Sheila McGough is both a dazzling work of journalism and a searching meditation on character and the law.

Diana Nikon by Janet Malcolm

Title Diana Nikon
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 1980
Category Photographic criticism
Total Pages 165
ISBN 0879233877
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The relationship of photography to painting, the polarity of the fine art and vernacular traditions, and the connection between photography and modernism are some of the topics which crop up again and again in this collection of 16 essays which explore the works of a number of photographers. The ess

The Purloined Clinic by Janet Malcolm

Title The Purloined Clinic
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2013-01-23
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9780307830609
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Purloined Clinic is a retrospective of essays, reviews, and reports that reflect the range and depth of Janet Malcolm's engagement with psychology, criticism, art, and literature. She examines aspects of "that absurdist collaboration," the psychoanalytic dialogue, from which come "small, stray sell recognitions that no other human relationship yields, brought forward under conditions . . . that no other human relationship could survive." She addresses such subjects as Tom Wolfe's vendetta against modern architecture, Milan Kundera's literary experiments, and Vaclav Havel's prison letters. She explores the somewhat deflated world of post-revolutionary Prague, guides us through the labyrinthine New York art world of the eighties, and takes us behind the one-way mirror of Salvador Minuchin's school of family therapy. And to each subject she brings the incisive skepticism and dazzling epigrammatic style that are her hallmarks. “Why don’t more people write like [Malcolm]? . . . She is cast from the mold of the Eastern European intellectual: beholden to modernism. as familiar with Kundera’s exile as she is with Freud’s Vienna. This sensibility must grant her the detachment she sometimes so mercilessly employs, but it also gives her an unassailable passion for getting to the center of things.” —Boston Globe

A Wilderness Of Error by Errol Morris

Title A Wilderness of Error
Author Errol Morris
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2012-09-04
Category True Crime
Total Pages 576
ISBN 9781101583838
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Academy Award-winning filmmaker and former private detective Errol Morris examines the nature of evidence and proof in the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald murder case Early on the morning of February 17, 1970, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor, called the police for help. When the officers arrived at his home they found the bloody and battered bodies of MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two young daughters. The word “pig” was written in blood on the headboard in the master bedroom. As MacDonald was being loaded into the ambulance, he accused a band of drug-crazed hippies of the crime. So began one of the most notorious and mysterious murder cases of the twentieth century. Jeffrey MacDonald was finally convicted in 1979 and remains in prison today. Since then a number of bestselling books—including Joe McGinniss’s Fatal Vision and Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer—and a blockbuster television miniseries have told their versions of the MacDonald case and what it all means. Errol Morris has been investigating the MacDonald case for over twenty years. A Wilderness of Error is the culmination of his efforts. It is a shocking book, because it shows us that almost everything we have been told about the case is deeply unreliable, and crucial elements of the case against MacDonald simply are not true. It is a masterful reinvention of the true-crime thriller, a book that pierces the haze of myth surrounding these murders with the sort of brilliant light that can only be produced by years of dogged and careful investigation and hard, lucid thinking. By this book’s end, we know several things: that there are two very different narratives we can create about what happened at 544 Castle Drive, and that the one that led to the conviction and imprisonment for life of this man for butchering his wife and two young daughters is almost certainly wrong. Along the way Morris poses bracing questions about the nature of proof, criminal justice, and the media, showing us how MacDonald has been condemned, not only to prison, but to the stories that have been created around him. In this profoundly original meditation on truth and justice, Errol Morris reopens one of America’s most famous cases and forces us to confront the unimaginable. Morris has spent his career unsettling our complacent assumptions that we know what we’re looking at, that the stories we tell ourselves are true. This book is his finest and most important achievement to date.

Making It by Norman Podhoretz

Title Making It
Author Norman Podhoretz
Publisher New York Review of Books
Release Date 2017-04-11
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 280
ISBN 9781681370811
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A controversial memoir about American intellectual life and academia and the relationship between politics, money, and education. Norman Podhoretz, the son of Jewish immigrants, grew up in the tough Brownsville section of Brooklyn, attended Columbia University on a scholarship, and later received degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Cambridge University. Making It is his blistering account of fighting his way out of Brooklyn and into, then out of, the Ivory Tower, of his military service, and finally of his induction into the ranks of what he calls “the Family,” the small group of left-wing and largely Jewish critics and writers whose opinions came to dominate and increasingly politicize the American literary scene in the fifties and sixties. It is a Balzacian story of raw talent and relentless and ruthless ambition. It is also a closely observed and in many ways still-pertinent analysis of the tense and more than a little duplicitous relationship that exists in America between intellect and imagination, money, social status, and power. The Family responded to the book with outrage, and Podhoretz soon turned no less angrily on them, becoming the fierce neoconservative he remains to this day. Fifty years after its first publication, this controversial and legendary book remains a riveting autobiography, a book that can be painfully revealing about the complex convictions and needs of a complicated man as well as a fascinating and essential document of mid-century American cultural life.

Burdock by Janet Malcolm

Title Burdock
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2008
Category Photography
Total Pages 2
ISBN STANFORD:36105132238440
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In Burdock, Janet Malcolm, who has been called "the most morally illuminating literary journalist in the country," illuminates through photography her fascination with the natural world Over the course of three summers in New England, Malcolm gathered leaves of the burdock plant, a "large rank weed" with medicinal properties "that grows along roadsides and in waste places and around derelict buildings." Influenced by Richard Avedon's unsparing portraits of famous people, Malcolm is drawn to "uncelebrated leaves" on which "life has left its mark," through the ravages of time, weather, insects, or blight. In her introduction, Malcolm reminds us that writers like Chekhov and Hawthorne have used burdock "to denote ruin and desolation." And yet, for Malcolm, Burdock is an homage to the botanical illustrators who recognized "the gorgeousness of the particulars of the things that are alive in the world." "Burdock consists of a series of large color photographs portraying a single, unusual kind of leaf in various stages of growth and decay. As such, it is a work of botanical and indeed philosophical interest as well as an art book. Like all of Malcolm's work, this project entails looking with a steely but sympathetic and extremely intelligent eye at the world around her, zeroing in on the oddities that others might miss and using them as clues through which she solves the larger mystery."--Wendy Lesser Malcolm's leaves will be shown at the Lori Bookstein Fine Arts Gallery in New York, September 9-October 11, 2008. "Looking at natural forms close up is an exercise in awe."--Janet Malcolm

Janet Malcolm by Elizabeth Fakazis

Title Janet Malcolm
Author Elizabeth Fakazis
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2002
Category
Total Pages 410
ISBN IND:30000082017413
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Hogs Wild by Ian Frazier

Title Hogs Wild
Author Ian Frazier
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2016-06-07
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780374713539
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"A master of both distilled insight and utter nonsense" (The Believer), Ian Frazier is one of the most gifted chroniclers of contemporary America. Hogs Wild assembles a decade's worth of his finest essays and reportage, and demonstrates the irrepressible passions and artful digressions that distinguish his enduring body of work. Part muckraker, part adventurer, and part raconteur, Frazier beholds, captures, and occasionally reimagines the spirit of the American experience. He travels down South to examine feral hogs, and learns that their presence in any county is a strong indicator that it votes Republican. He introduces us to a man who, when his house is hit by a supposed meteorite, hopes to "leverage" the space object into opportunity for his family, and a New York City police detective who is fascinated with rap-music-related crimes. Alongside Frazier's delight in the absurdities of contemporary life is his sense of social responsibility: there's an echo of the great reform-minded writers in his pieces on a soup kitchen, opioid overdose deaths on Staten Island, and the rise in homelessness in New York City under Mayor Bloomberg. In each dizzying discovery, Hogs Wild unearths the joys of inquiry without agenda, curiosity without calculation. To read Frazier is to become a kind of social and political anthropologist--astute and deeply engaged.

Man In Profile by Thomas Kunkel

Title Man in Profile
Author Thomas Kunkel
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2015-04-28
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780812997521
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

WINNER OF THE SPERBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • This fascinating biography reveals the untold story of the legendary New Yorker profile writer—author of Joe Gould’s Secret and Up in the Old Hotel—and unravels the mystery behind one of literary history’s greatest disappearing acts. Born and raised in North Carolina, Joseph Mitchell was Southern to the core. But from the 1930s to the 1960s, he was the voice of New York City. Readers of The New Yorker cherished his intimate sketches of the people who made the city tick—from Mohawk steelworkers to Staten Island oystermen, from homeless intellectual Joe Gould to Old John McSorley, founder of the city’s most famous saloon. Mitchell’s literary sensibility combined with a journalistic eye for detail produced a writing style that would inspire New Journalism luminaries such as Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, and Joan Didion. Then, all of a sudden, his stories stopped appearing. For thirty years, Mitchell showed up for work at The New Yorker, but he produced . . . nothing. Did he have something new and exciting in store? Was he working on a major project? Or was he bedeviled by an epic case of writer’s block? The first full-length biography of Joseph Mitchell, based on the thousands of archival pages he left behind and dozens of interviews, Man in Profile pieces together the life of this beloved and enigmatic literary legend and answers the question that has plagued readers and critics for decades: What was Joe Mitchell doing all those years? By the time of his death in 1996, Mitchell was less well known for his elegant writing than for his J. D. Salinger–like retreat from the public eye. For thirty years, Mitchell had wandered the streets of New York, chronicling the lives of everyday people and publishing them in the most prestigious publication in town. But by the 1970s, crime, homelessness, and a crumbling infrastructure had transformed the city Mitchell understood so well and spoke for so articulately. He could barely recognize it. As he said to a friend late in life, “I’m living in a state of confusion.” Fifty years after his last story appeared, and almost two decades after his death, Joseph Mitchell still has legions of fans, and his story—especially the mystery of his “disappearance”—continues to fascinate. With a colorful cast of characters that includes Harold Ross, A. J. Liebling, Tina Brown, James Thurber, and William Shawn, Man in Profile goes a long way to solving that mystery—and bringing this lion of American journalism out of the shadows that once threatened to swallow him. Praise for Man in Profile “[An] authoritative new biography [about] our greatest literary journalist . . . Kunkel is the ideal biographer of Joseph Mitchell: As . . . a writer and craftsman worthy of his subject.”—Blake Bailey, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice) “A richly persuasive portrait of a man who cared about everybody and everything.”—London Review of Books “Mitchell’s life and achievements are brought vividly alive in [this] splendid book.”—Chicago Tribune “A thoughtful and sympathetic new biography.”—Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic “Excellent . . . A first-rate Mitchell biography was very much in order.”—The Wall Street Journal

Forty One False Starts by Janet Malcolm

Title Forty one False Starts
Author Janet Malcolm
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2014-05-13
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 320
ISBN 0374534586
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 False Starts, Malcolm brings together essays published over the course of several decades (largely in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books) that reflect her preoccupation with artists and their work. Her subjects are painters, photographers, writers, and critics. She explores Bloomsbury's obsessive desire to create things visual and literary; the "passionate collaborations" behind Edward Weston's nudes; and the character of the German art photographer Thomas Struth, who is "haunted by the Nazi past," yet whose photographs have "a lightness of spirit." In "The Woman Who Hated Women," Malcolm delves beneath the "onyx surface" of Edith Wharton's fiction, while in "Advanced Placement" she relishes the black comedy of the Gossip Girl novels of Cecily von Zeigesar. In "Salinger's Cigarettes," Malcolm writes that "the pettiness, vulgarity, banality, and vanity that few of us are free of, and thus can tolerate in others, are like ragweed for Salinger's helplessly uncontaminated heroes and heroines." "Over and over," as Ian Frazier writes in his introduction, "she has demonstrated that nonfiction--a book of reporting, an article in a magazine, something we see every day--can rise to the highest level of literature." One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013