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Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive? Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description "Astringent and absorbing. Iphigenia in Forest Hills casts, from its first pages, a genuine spell - the kind of spell to which Ms.
Malcolm's admirers and I am one have become addicted. The defendant, Mazoltuv Borukhova, a beautiful young physician, is accused of hiring an assassin to kill her estranged husband, Daniel Malakov, a respected orthodontist, in the presence of their four-year old child. The prosecutor calls it an act of vengeance: just weeks before Malakov was killed in cold blood, he was given custody of Michelle for inexplicable reasons.
It is the "Dickensian ordeal" of Borukhova's innocent child that drives Malcolm's inquiry. With the intellectual and emotional precision for which she is known, Malcolm looks at the trial-"a contest between competing narratives"-from every conceivable angle. It is the chasm between our ideals of justice and the human factors that influence every trial-from divergent lawyering abilities to the nature of jury selection, the malleability of evidence, and the disposition of the judge-that is perhaps most striking.
An Interview with Janet Malcolm on Iphigenia in Forest Hills | Yale University Press Blog
Surely one of the most keenly observed trial books ever written, Iphigenia in Forest Hills is ultimately about character and "reasonable doubt. Here, as always, Malcolm's work inspires the best kind of disquiet in a reader-the obligation to think. Her scrupulous reporting and interviews with protagonists on both sides of the trial make her own narrative as suspenseful and exciting as a detective story, with all the moral and intellectual interest of a great novel. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x From this brutal scenario, Malcolm spins a disquieting tale of the workaday criminal trial, where the court sanitizes and defines the chaotic humanness of crime.
Courts do not tailor the law to the crime though justice, like fine suits, surely gets fitted for those with means ; they narrate actions, alleged or actual, into patterns that match ready-made legal categories. Certainty and simplicity triumph over ambiguity.
Malcolm has written commandingly on such collisions in the past — most notably in The Journalist and the Murderer — and her skills seem perfectly suited to the task at hand in Iphigenia in Forest Hills. It is unclear whether Borukhova refused to be interviewed or if Malcolm elected to embargo her, but the two never speak directly to one another. This lends Borukhova a strange… well, insalience.
The Malcolmian tradition is voyeuristic, placing the reader on her shoulder as she coaxes her subjects into self-revelation, if not self-realization. But by not engaging directly with its central character, this book lacks a center of gravity. Murderer , in part, explores the ethics of insincerity. How much truth does a writer owe a source? Even in the bare sketch Malcolm provides, Borukhova, a practicing physician and Bukharan Jew, appears a singly compelling, discomfiting, and complicated interlocutor.
In telling her tale, Malcolm simply retains the enigma. Nonetheless, Iphigenia in Forest Hills delves more deeply, subtly, and intelligently into the flawed mechanics of the criminal justice system than most books in recent memory. Once the questions are posed, the answer is always the same. Why are you so angry with your husband? Why are you in handcuffs?
Why are you in jail? In court? Often, a critique of this sort stems from a left-leaning politics, producing criticism as rigid as the thinking it condemns. Everyone plays their part, nobody calls in sick, and if anyone breaks character and reveals himself as incompetent, ignorant, or otherwise flawed, the production still proceeds.austinyoganews.com/map8.php
Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial
That guilt or innocence in a criminal trial is the adult moral of adult story time? We live immersed in the narratology of criminal justice, but we often forget how personal failings, ambitions, and prejudices structure the administration of real-world justice. The prosecution sharpens this statement to a gleam, only to have their argument blunted on cross-examination when a more faithful translation of the tape reveals that Borukhova merely asks Mallayav whether or not he wanted to get out of the car she was driving.
Correct and convincing are not synonyms, though. Other failings are far more individual.
Judge Robert Hanophy presides over the Borukhova trial. If Malcolm sees the law as troublingly subjective, for Hanophy it proves reassuringly mechanical. Case closed.
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