Maia (Teresa) Wojciechowska Janet Malcolm - Essay

Janet Malcolm

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The distinguishing characteristic of ["The Hollywood Kid"] … is its author's profound contempt for the mental capacity of her readers….

[The protagonist, Bryan,] is the only son of a beautiful movie actress who puts stardom before motherhood and devotes just half an hour every day to her son—an arrangement, considering the quality of his conversation, one can hardly blame her for. When the book begins, the boy's stepfather has just died. He had been a movie director and the one person, besides a Polish cleaning woman, "who ever said anything to Bryan that he remembered." The dull-witted boy, however, is considerably less affected by his stepfather's death than he is exercised about the décor...

(The entire section is 480 words.)