Portraits in print : a collection of profiles and the stories behind them


Portraits in print : a collection of profiles and the stories behind them

Helen Benedict ; afterword by Jessica Mitford

Columbia University Press, c1991

  • : pbk

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 6



Includes bibliographical references and index


  • The passionate mind, Susan Sontag
  • Flight from predictability, Joseph Brodsky
  • Undaunted and undefeated, Beverly Sills
  • Filling silences with strong voices, Paule Marshall
  • Morals and surprises, Bernard Malamud
  • Intrepid twosome, Jessica Mitford and Robert Treuhaft
  • A talk with Leonard Michaels
  • A day in the life of an unknown poet, Bertrand Bard
  • Never insult a Yiddish typewriter, Isaac Bashevis Singer



The journalistic profile is one of the most popular, widely read types of magazine feature writing. Helen Benedict, a master of the genre, has collected for Portraits in Print nine of her best pieces, and provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the art of portrait journalism. Among the persons profiled here are Joseph Brodsky, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Susan Sontag, Paule Marshall, Bernard Malamud, and Beverly Sills. In a general introduction and in lively discussions after each profile, Helen Benedict describes how she selected the subjects, got them to agree to be interviewed, convinced the magazines' editor's to assign her the pieces, prepared for the interviews, and set about writing each one after the research and interviewing were complete. Benedict also discusses how much confidence to betray, how personal to get, what to leave out, and the writer's power over the profile subject. This is fascinating reading, especially for aspiring writers who hope to learn more about the skills and practices of this popular genre. Portraits in Print concludes with an Afterward by the famous muckraker and author of The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford. Mitford takes the opposite tack, in an amusing essay about what it is like to be an interviewee.

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