Iphigenia in Forest Hills – A Short Review

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial by Janet Malcolm

Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011

Borrowed from the library.

I first read Malcolm’s report of the murder trial of Mazoltuv “Marina” Borukhova and the man she was accused of hiring to kill her ex-husband, in the New Yorker.  This book is expanded from that article and is  the best depiction, in fiction or nonfiction,  of the ambiguity and uncertainty that takes place in a U.S. court of law that I have read.

A jury trial is supposed to review all the “evidence” in a case and decide what “really happened”,  leading to just decision of guilt or innocence.  Malcolm’s  book make it clear that the structure of a trial, the personalities involved and the media and journalism that surrounds it, can lead to something that feels the opposite of  justice.  This is a fascinating read, one I highly recommend.   I will read other books by Janet Malcolm.


Filed under Culture, Current Events, Litigation, Nonfiction, Review

3 responses to “Iphigenia in Forest Hills – A Short Review

  1. This sounds really interesting! Thanks for pointing it out to me :)

  2. I have heard that Janet Malcolm is amazing, although I think I might start with her book about Sylvia Plath, rather than this one. Just because I am afraid I would get squiffed out by the murder stuff in this, and I’d rather love the first book I read by Janet Malcolm.

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