Joanna Smith Rakoff

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Joanna Smith Rakoff has written for The New York Times,Time Out New York, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other publications. She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College; an M.A. from University College, London; and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She lives in New York with her husband and son.

Photo Credit: Elena Seibert

Books by this Author

A Fortunate Age


Joanna Smith Rakoff: A Fortunate Age

A dazzling, instantly compelling first novel that tells the universal story of the starting-out years of six college friends living in Brooklyn.

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I'm afraid I don't have one.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. I have an overhealthy interest in film, which I blame on my father, who took me to the movies twice a week, starting at about age three. Thus, I've always fantasized about actually making--writing and directing--films. But I'm not quite sure I have the personality necessary to navigate Hollywood.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Honesty. Humor. Introspection and intellectual rigor.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Lying on the couch, reading Middlemarch, eating a hard, green apple.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Mina Loy. Dawn Powell. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sylvia Plath.