Craig Seligman wrote of the University of Pennsylvania’s latest Kelly Writers House Fellow, Janet Malcolm, “Like Sylvia Plath, whose not-niceness she has laid open with surgical skill, she discovered her vocation in not-niceness.... Malcolm's blade gleams with a razor edge. Her critics tend to go after her with broken bottles."
The noted American journalist and author will meet with students in the Writers House Fellows seminar taught by Al Filreis , the House faculty director, on Monday, March 18. That evening, Malcolm will read from her works before a reservations-only audience at Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk.
The next day at 10 a.m., she will attend a private Writers House brunch followed by a one-hour public interview/conversation. Both programs will be streamed live on the Web at www.writing.upenn.edu/wh/multimedia/tv.
Malcolm has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1963 when she began her writing career at the magazine with "About the House," a column on interiors and design. She then went on to write a photography column and to contribute book reviews and pieces to the magazine.
She is the author of numerous books, among them, In the Freud Archives (1984), which tells of three scholars' relationship to Freud and the study of him; The Silent Woman (1995), which investigates the relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; Reading Chekhov (2001), which combines close readings of Chekhov with biographical pieces about his life and Malcolm's own travels; and Two Lives: Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in War and Peace (2007), which interprets the relationship between these two important modernist women, their work and the society in which they lived.
The Kelly Writers House Fellows Program offers young and aspiring writers an opportunity to be taught by the eminent authors, writers and poets tapped as Fellows each year. John Ashbery visited campus as a Fellow last month. The third Fellow, Rodrigo García, will teach and give public readings April 22-23.
Current and past Fellow biographies, archived readings and Webcasts are available at http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/people/fellows/.