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Nobody's Looking at You: Essays Hardcover – February 19, 2019
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"Seeing things differently is the essence of what sets Malcolm apart. Few writers pay attention with the precision, acuity and patience she has exhibited during her career . . . Taking no particular issue with the work of her colleagues, I wish nonetheless to say that Malcolm, line to line, is a more revealing writer, one whose presence in her pieces isn’t meant to advertise the self so much as complicate the subject." --Wyatt Mason, The New York Times Book Review
"There are few writers who command the respect of their fellows more than Janet Malcolm . . . Malcolm is always worth reading; it can be instructive to see how much satisfying craft she brings to even the most trivial article . . . a collection that veers between tenderness and asperity." --Phillip Lopate, The TLS
"Malcolm is a master of nonfiction . . . In their range and verve, [the essays] confirm Malcolm’s ability as a literary journalist to connect her work to the cultural moment." --Joumana Khatib, The New York Times
"The latest collection of essays from the provocative grande dame of US journalism is spiky and prescient, predictable only in its near-constant ability to surprise: no matter how transparently Malcolm renders her nimble thought processes, each piece winds up somewhere unexpected." --Hephzibah Anderson, The Guardian
"Nobody's Looking At You is brimful of all the eloquence, erudition and insight a thoughtful reader could want." --Etelka Lechozky, NPR.org
"Malcolm is rarely less than a fierce presence on the page, a relentless interrogator (or is it prosecutor?) of the people and subjects she writes about so well . . . Reading Janet Malcolm is always a pleasure and a challenge. She’ll make you think twice about people and things you thought you were sure about . . . Few writers are as good at making us linger, while at the same time cautioning us about the inherent limitations and deceptions of storytelling." --Paul Baumann, Commonweal
"The same qualities that make [Janet Malcolm] such a fearsome interlocutor also lend her essays an uncommon clarity . . . her calm, brilliant essays are the perfect tonic for our troubled times." --Ann Levin, Associated Press
"Malcolm is the undisputed queen of description." --Lucy Scholes, The TLS
"Marvelous . . . [Malcolm's] curiosity is boundless, her insights clear and original, but what really elevates her is that while she is present on the page, she resists intrusion or self-reference, keeping her keen gaze ever forward-looking." --The National Book Review (Five Hot Books)
"Reading Janet Malcolm is always a pleasure and a challenge. She'll make you think twice about people and things you thought you were sure about . . . Few writers are as good at making us linger, while at the same time cautioning us about the inherent limitations and deceptions of storytelling." --Paul Baumann, Commonweal
"Every word of Janet Malcolm’s latest nonfiction collection, Nobody’s Looking at You, is a pleasure to read, even if you have no built-in interest in her topics." --Chris Hewitt, The Minneapolis StarTribune
"[Malcolm's] profiles of noted personalities are peerless when it comes to unraveling what makes people tick. She’ll deliver the factual goods with brisk efficiency, while happily leaving mysteries in place." --Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
"Stylish, erudite essays by a doyenne of literary nonfiction." --O, the Oprah Magazine
"Malcolm is a witty maestro of nonfiction, a wizard at using simple sentences to convey sharp and complex observations, and a doyenne at surprising us with stories that stretch beyond boundaries of the containers that hold them." –Kerri Arsenault, Lit Hub
"Outstanding . . . varied and witty . . . With no weak selections and several strikingly prescient ones, this collection shows its author as a master of narrative nonfiction." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A master of the craft offers up sprightly and fervent essays . . . Intelligent, savvy, and stylish literary journalism." --Kirkus
About the Author
- Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 19, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0374279497
- ISBN-13 : 978-0374279493
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.88 x 1.01 x 8.57 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Update: I’ve changed my review to a 3-star, based on the comments on my review, which made me reconsider. Also, I’ve tried to reply to each comment separately, but they don’t appear after the comments, just lumped together.
Better to reread her books/essays on Gertrude Stein, Ted Hughes and Ingrid Sischy. This is bottom of the drawer stuff, alas.
The pieces that originally appeared in the New Yorker are character studies, while those from the New York Review of Books are reviews, but reviews that examine much more than content. For example, in several pieces she examines the sexism quotient in such divergent works as a scathing biography of Ted Hughes and the comic No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. But in another she goes into, at great length, the different styles of various translators of Russian literature, the effect "modernization" has on a classic and the interpretation of Tolstoy. After reading this, I will definitely read her first compilation.
I’m a little slow to review this collection, because a rationed myself to one or two essays a day. They are really that good!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.