Forty-One False Starts | Granta

  • Published: 07/08/2014
  • ISBN: 9781847088567
  • 129x20mm
  • 320 pages

Forty-One False Starts

Janet Malcolm

Selected essays from America’s foremost literary journalist and essayist, featuring ruminations on writers and artists as diverse as Edith Wharton, Diane Arbus and the Bloomsbury Group. This charismatic and penetrating collection includes Malcolm’s now iconic essay about the painter David Salle.

Malcolm re-emerges here as a perceptive, fascinated, acerbic commentator on art and photography... Superbly sceptical and clear-eyed

Jerome Boyd Maunsell, Books of the Year, Evening Standard

A world of bohemian sophistication is illuminated by an exacting intelligence which never lets you get too comfortable... A timeless masterpiece

Max Liu, Books of the Year, Independent

Her writing is a cool daylit room in which even broken things are perfectly arranged for contemplation

Rachel Polonsky, Books of the Year, Evening Standard

The Author

Janet Malcolm (1934-2021) is widely considered to be one of America’s most notable literary journalists. She was born in Prague and was educated at the University of Michigan. She was a staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of several critically acclaimed books, including In the Freud Archives, The Journalist and the Murderer, Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey and The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes all published by Granta. She won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award in Biography for Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice (Yale University Press) in 2008. Her final book Still Pictures is forthcoming in 2023.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Janet Malcolm on

Essays & Memoir | Granta 160


Janet Malcolm

‘The Czech word skromnost means “modesty”, but it also carries a mild sense of forelock-tugging humbleness, of knowing one’s place.’

An excerpt from Janet Malcolm’s final book.

Art & Photography | Granta 126

The Emily Dickinson Series

Janet Malcolm

The Emily Dickinson Series is a collection of collages by Janet Malcolm that appear in Granta 126: do you remember.