Janet Malcolm's "Iphigenia in Forest Hills" is everything you think you don't want in a courtroom drama. Expanded from a New Yorker article. Iphigenia in Forest Hills has ratings and 75 reviews. Betsy said: An engrossing blow-by-blow account of a very strange crime and trial involving ve. "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.


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Agamemnon sent a message to Clytemnestra, telling her to bring Iphigenia to him so that she Agamemnon had angered the goddess, Artemis, by bragging that he was a better hunter. Agamemnon sent a message to Clytemnestra, telling her to bring Iphigenia to him so that she could be wed to Achilles.

When mother and daughter arrive, Iphigenia dies and Agamemnon sails to Troy. Upon his return, Clytemnestra kills him for the loss of Iphigenia. In this case, Iphigenia is Michelle Malakov, a four year-old caught in a divorce and custody battle, that could not end well.

Michelle was the daughter of Daniel Malakov, a very successful orthodontist in Iphigenia in forest hills, New York and Mazoltov Borukhova, a very successful internist. Until the birth of Michelle, family members described the couple as very much in love.

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial

Daniel was a romantic and he adored his wife, a woman of formidable intelligence and will. A divorce was inevitable and it was one of the worst iphigenia in forest hills judge or the lawyers on both sides had had to deal with.

Marina was her own worst enemy; her arrogance when questioned in court led, for a reason not explained, to Daniel being given custody of Michelle with Marina allowed visitation. Neither parent had iphigenia in forest hills for custody; both had assumed Michelle would live with Marina and Daniel would have a degree of shared custody.

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

But when the judge gave Daniel custody, the death of the father became an inevitability. Daniel and Marina came from a religious culture in which men and women did not choose their marital partners.

Arranged marriages were the responsibility of matchmakers who would present potential partners to the parents of the intended couple and then to the two people most involved.

Both the Malakov and Borukhova families did not want Daniel and Marina to marry, although the specifics of that are not given in the book. But Daniel and Marina, marrying within months of meeting, flouted that iphigenia in forest hills, two people in a modern world without the tools necessary to navigate it.

An Interview with Janet Malcolm on Iphigenia in Forest Hills | Yale University Press Blog

It was one of the most absorbing experiences of my life as a journalist. It was like being part of a theater troupe that iphigenia in forest hills performing a play with a long run.

This one had particularly strong performances from its leading actors.


An extraordinary depth of feeling for Borukhova and her child comes through your account. Would you comment on this? It was clear to me that Borukhova passionately loved her child and that the prosecuting attorney was right to point to the decision that iphigenia in forest hills her child away from her as the fulcrum of the tragedy.


This is an element of the case that readers of the New Yorker article reacted to with particular horror and outrage. The backstory iphigenia in forest hills mostly to do with "otherness". Borukhova is a Bukharan Jew from Uzbekistan, and thus is a member of a particularly inward-looking sect, one viewed with suspicion even by other Jewish immigrants.

Seemingly pious, she grows thinner and thinner during the trial the correct kosher meals are not, iphigenia in forest hills insists, available in prison. Malcolm, unlike just about everyone else involved in the case, has a measure of sympathy for her. But she recognises, too, her contrary nature, her stubbornness, her unreadability which a jury will take to be coldness.

It's also her contention — or her instinct — that the die was cast when Borukhova and Malokov separated and began a custody fight for Michelle.