Holtzbrinck Fellow - Class of Fall 2012
Author and journalist
Joan Acocella is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she reviews dance and books. Her books include Mark Morris, a critical biography of the choreographer; Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism; and Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder. She edited the first unexpurgated edition of The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky and, with Lynn Garafola, she edited André Levinson on Dance. Her collection of essays Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints (2007) was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism, and it won the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance Research from the Congress of Research on Dance, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. Before going to The New Yorker, she wrote for The New York Review of Books, Art in America, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and other journals. She was a Guggenheim fellow in 1983; she is currently a fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities.
American Academy Project
Crime and Punishment: A Collection of Essays
At the American Academy, Acocella will continue working on a collection of essays tentatively entitled Crime and Punishment, about the artistic treatment of the criminal, including an examination of morality in the US TV series “The Sopranos.” This essay, Acocella says, will explore “how much an extended TV show can command the moral attention that we normally give to art.” Other essays in the collection discuss Judas Iscariot, Giordano Bruno, the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, Dostoevsky, Dracula, Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, and Stieg Larsson.