Still Pictures: On Photography and MemoryJanet Malcolm
For decades, Janet Malcolm's books and dispatches for the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books poked and prodded at reportorial and biographical convention, gesturing towards the artifice that underpins both public and private selves. In Still Pictures, she turns her gimlet eye on her own life.
Beginning with the image of a morose young girl on her way from Prague to New York in 1939, to fitful early loves and her fascination with what it might mean to be a 'bad girl', Malcolm assembles a composite portrait of a New York childhood, one that never escapes the tug of Europe and the mysteries of fate and family. Later, she delves into the world of William Shawn's New Yorker and the infamous libel trial that saw her become a character in her own drama.
Written with Malcolm's peerless skill and sharp wit, this memoir from a titan of American letters is unlike any other.