Today in Slate, Alice Gregory writes about what she learned from reading everything Janet Malcolm has ever published. Below, she ranks Malcolm’s books from best to worst.
The Books, From Best to Worst
The Collections, From Best to Worst
Janet Malcolm’s Best Lines Not About Journalism
Janet Malcolm’s most famous line is: “Every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.” She has more great aphorisms about journalism—but she’s also written brilliantly about other subjects, among them art, biography, and men’s apartments.
“The avant-garde is supposed to be the conscience of the culture, not its id.”
—“Forty-One False Starts”
“Deep mythic structures determine who is likeable and who isn’t among the famous dead.”
“This was the real thing, this was sexism so pure and uninflected it inspired a kind of awe, almost a sort of respect.”
—The Silent Woman
“Biographers rue the destruction or loss of letters; they might also curse the husband and wife who never leave each other’s side, and thus perform a kind of epistolary abortion.”
“John Coplan’s loft, on Cedar Street, has the look of a place inhabited by a man who no longer lives with a woman.”
—“A Girl of the Zeitgeist”
“Stein regards her characters as if from a great distance and, at the same time, seems, in her desperate eagerness to understand them, almost to be taking them in her mouth and tasting them.”
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.