The New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm, famous for her work on media and psychoanalysis, died Thursday. She was 86. Her death was confirmed by fellow New Yorker writers, who commented on her career and legacy. “RIP Janet Malcolm, a legend,” writer Emily Nussbaum tweeted.
Malcolm first joined The New Yorker in 1963, when her poem “Thoughts on Living in a Shaker House” was published. She is particularly famous for her 1981 book Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, which examined the use of psychoanalysis by a doctor in New York, and the 1990 piece “The Journalist and the Murder,” which looked at the ethics of journalism through a case study. In recent years, she has profiled figures in various industries for the magazine, including MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and the late author Susan Sontag.
Cara Parks wrote in a 2013 The New Republic profile of Malcolm that she “built her reputation by breaking the strict rules of civility and journalistic lockstep” and how her “preoccupation with how we tell stories and why we tell them the way we do” became the mission statement of Malcolm’s career.