Nobody's Looking at You
"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, TLSA New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. One of BBC Culture, Lit Hub, O, the Oprah Magazine, and The New York Times's Books to Read this February 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.

Nobody's Looking at You Details

TitleNobody's Looking at You
Author
ReleaseFeb 19th, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-139780374279493
Rating
GenreWriting, Essays, Nonfiction, Female Authors, Biography

Nobody's Looking at You Review

  • Text Publishing
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Malcolm as a whole sets a gold standard of performance for any journalist…It’s wise to expect the unexpected.’ Australian‘Few writers pay attention with the precision, acuity and patience [Malcolm] has exhibited during her career of telling stories...Her work was hybrid before hybrid was a thing: It balances her skills as a reporter (avid, nosy attention) with those of a scholar (writing about anything, it’s clear she’s read everything), a literary critic (tuned to how language, written or spok ‘Malcolm as a whole sets a gold standard of performance for any journalist…It’s wise to expect the unexpected.’ Australian‘Few writers pay attention with the precision, acuity and patience [Malcolm] has exhibited during her career of telling stories...Her work was hybrid before hybrid was a thing: It balances her skills as a reporter (avid, nosy attention) with those of a scholar (writing about anything, it’s clear she’s read everything), a literary critic (tuned to how language, written or spoken, foregrounds its maker’s gifts and faults) and, above all, a storyteller. She is uncommonly concerned with finding a form that delivers the force of the story she is telling.' New York Times‘If Malcolm’s stories were items of clothing, then you would scarcely be able to see the stitching. So seamless and well-structured are they that the research and hours and effort that must have occurred behind the scenes are virtually undetectable. Nobody’s Looking at You is an enlightening, rewarding read from one of the greats.’ Good Reading Magazine 'What unites these pieces is a mood—heavy, autumnal, nostalgic...There is stirring, beautifully structured writing here, particularly in the title essay, a profile of Fisher, which combines many of the writer’s signal interests—our unconscious aggression and the way we methodically and unknowingly recreate the world of our childhood in our adult lives.’ New York Times'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. The author of The Journalist and the Murderer comes off like a proponent of the 'Life is short, eat dessert first' philosophy, placing her snappiest pieces in the first section...[The essays] show off Malcolm’s way with quick, vivid word pictures...and her gift for the telling detail...[and] reveal the breadth of Malcolm’s wit and insight[.]’ Star Tribune'Malcolm brings [the] same moral seriousness to every topic she addresses…[H]er calm, brilliant essays are the perfect tonic for our troubled times.’ Associated Press 'Nobody's Looking At You is brimful of all the eloquence, erudition and insight a thoughtful reader could want.’ NPR‘[R]uthlessly artful…[H]er magazine 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.’ Seattle Times
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  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    Janet Malcolm has an intense curiosity which, when combined with her impressive scholarship, has resulted in essays that go above and beyond any surface treatment of a subject. Also, being a lifelong New Yorker, she has had privileged access to those kind of behind-the-scenes situations that further illuminate the lives of those she writes about. It was as fascinating to read about the confirmation of a Supreme Court Judge as it was to learn about Yuja Wang and the importance of her concert wear Janet Malcolm has an intense curiosity which, when combined with her impressive scholarship, has resulted in essays that go above and beyond any surface treatment of a subject. Also, being a lifelong New Yorker, she has had privileged access to those kind of behind-the-scenes situations that further illuminate the lives of those she writes about. It was as fascinating to read about the confirmation of a Supreme Court Judge as it was to learn about Yuja Wang and the importance of her concert wear. She breathes life into such material. 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.
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  • Melissa Dee
    January 1, 1970
    I read several of these essays when they were first published; returning to them after several years was like meeting up with an old friend on the street. Janet Malcom subtly illuminates the everyday. Even when her subject is a celebrity, she walks with them through the mundane, and gives us a fascinating glimpse of their personalities and quirks. Malcolms writing is spare and elegant, and always on point. Her review of “Send” is an eloquent reflection on writing by a writer’s writer.I’m a littl I read several of these essays when they were first published; returning to them after several years was like meeting up with an old friend on the street. Janet Malcom subtly illuminates the everyday. Even when her subject is a celebrity, she walks with them through the mundane, and gives us a fascinating glimpse of their personalities and quirks. Malcolms writing is spare and elegant, and always on point. Her review of “Send” is an eloquent reflection on writing by a writer’s writer.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.
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  • Anneke
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: Nobody’s Looking At You: EssaysAuthor: Janet MalcolmPublisher: Farrar, Straus and GirouxPublication Date: February 19, 2019Review Date: February 13, 2019I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.From the NetGalley and Amazon blurb:“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 Book Review: Nobody’s Looking At You: EssaysAuthor: Janet MalcolmPublisher: Farrar, Straus and GirouxPublication Date: February 19, 2019Review Date: February 13, 2019I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.From the NetGalley and Amazon blurb:“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.”I know there are some people that prefer to read fiction and can’t be bothered with reading nonfiction of any sort, especially essays such as writing in this fantastic collection. And then there are those readers who solely read nonfiction, and have no interest in reading fiction and novels. I am the in-between kind of reader. I pretty much like it all except horror (excluding the great Mr. King) and romance. This is an exceptional book of essays. Each one is about a different subject, but all are written with the same precision. They were all easy to read. I was drawn in right at the beginning of each essay. Part of what makes this collection so interesting is the breadth of subjects. This is not the author’s first book. I am going to search out her other books, as the writing in this collection took my breath away.If you like to read essays, this is a must-read book. It’s one of those books that I know I will return to over the years. The author made essay-writing look so easy, which we know, is not. I highly, highly recommend this book, if nonfiction, and essays are what you like to read. This is top shelf writing. 5+ stars! Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for allowing me an early look at this first class collection of essays.This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon.#netgalley #imnotlookingatyou #fsg
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  • Beck
    January 1, 1970
    Janet Malcolm's Nobody's Looking at You is a collection of previously published essays, from profiles to book reviews to general cultural commentary. Malcolm is a fluid, beautiful writer. She has a delightful way of putting things - take, for example, her description of Dianne Feinstein: "a thirties-move character in her own right, with her Mary Astor loveliness, and air of just having arrived with a lot of suitcases." I love that so much.My favorite section was the profiles - including one on E Janet Malcolm's Nobody's Looking at You is a collection of previously published essays, from profiles to book reviews to general cultural commentary. Malcolm is a fluid, beautiful writer. She has a delightful way of putting things - take, for example, her description of Dianne Feinstein: "a thirties-move character in her own right, with her Mary Astor loveliness, and air of just having arrived with a lot of suitcases." I love that so much.My favorite section was the profiles - including one on Eileen Fisher (her description of the company's insular corporate-speak is hilarious) and another on Rachel Maddow. The most fascinating to me, though, was the profile of Yuja Wang, an amazingly talented pianist I'd never heard of before. (That's her on the cover of the book, which is actually what drew me to it.) Malcolm's essay on Supreme Court justice nomination hearings was excellent, but it was published in 2006; I would've liked a coda discussing everyone's least favorite beer loving justice, just to hear Malcolm's thoughts on that whole horrible debacle. Her book reviews were great as well - I particularly liked the one discussing the translators Pevear and Volokhonsky, who have translated a lot of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. I previously enjoyed their work but am now very curious to read the translations that Malcolm prefers, by Garnett. (She was very convincing in regards to the superiority of Garnett's work.) I also very much enjoyed her evisceration Jonathan Bate's biography of Ted Hughes. All in all, a beautifully written collection. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy!
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Janet Malcolm is a brilliant observer of people and situations, and she has the broadest and most esoteric vocabulary of any writer I've ever known. I'm continually looking up terms that she seems almost casually to insert in sentences. This collection of essays is meticulously articulated, and she goes deeply into each subject she writes about. So either you love what she writes about, or you become enlightened about an area that you've never deeply studied before. My favorite essay was her int Janet Malcolm is a brilliant observer of people and situations, and she has the broadest and most esoteric vocabulary of any writer I've ever known. I'm continually looking up terms that she seems almost casually to insert in sentences. This collection of essays is meticulously articulated, and she goes deeply into each subject she writes about. So either you love what she writes about, or you become enlightened about an area that you've never deeply studied before. My favorite essay was her interview with Rachel Maddow; the subjects of some essays I was deeply uninterested in, but it was fun watching her analyze the subjects she was writing on.I've loved several of her books previously, and this was no exception. She's a masterful writer.
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  • MaryJo Hansen
    January 1, 1970
    It is hard to rate a book like this because each story is so different and might hold the interest of one person but not another. All of these appeared in other publications, notably the New Yorker and New York Review of Books over the past years so they are not new pieces.Well written and delving deep into each topic, this is a book you can consume in small bits as each piece stands on it's own. My personal favorite was the first about a young concert pianist whose picture intriguingly graces t It is hard to rate a book like this because each story is so different and might hold the interest of one person but not another. All of these appeared in other publications, notably the New Yorker and New York Review of Books over the past years so they are not new pieces.Well written and delving deep into each topic, this is a book you can consume in small bits as each piece stands on it's own. My personal favorite was the first about a young concert pianist whose picture intriguingly graces the book cover.
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  • Sharron
    January 1, 1970
    The Three Sisters and The Art of Testifying were stellar essays. Fascinating. And I found that in her essay Remember The Ladies Malcolm skillfully captured the essence of why Alexander McCall Smith’s Botswana novels are such a pleasure to read.
  • Paul Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    masterful
  • Ray Sinclair
    January 1, 1970
    Janet Malcolm writes about artists, authors, and others with larger purposes than telling us about their lives. Each essay combines a profile with an astute critical eye.
  • Timothy Langhorst
    January 1, 1970
    Diverse collection of essays. Enjoyable read.
  • Mizloo
    January 1, 1970
    Essays that range from brilliant clarity to muddily obscure, but mostly fun to read. The brilliant one I liked best was about Quentin Bell's late life Bloomsbury reminiscences.
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful to read a book of essays that you immediately fathom and also enjoy profiles of artists, authors, musicians, translators, etc. Quite a "good read".
  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    I especially enjoyed the essay on Yuja Wang
  • marcia
    January 1, 1970
    The New Yorker profiles is the strongest part of the book, the piece on Yuja Wang is my favorite.
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely New Yorker essays. Favourite: Nobody’s looking at you. “I grew up Catholic, ...you know, the ‘Nobody’s looking at you’ thing ... it was just safer to be invisible.”
  • Denise K.
    January 1, 1970
    Coming soon.
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