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


My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

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

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

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

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Right at the moment, let's see: I Wanna Know Girls, Portastatic; Ghosts, Laura Marling; Stars and Sons, Broken Social Scene; Staring at the Sun, TV on the Radio; Flume, Bon Iver. But this pretty random. I could just as easily list Wilco, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Elliott Smith, and dozens more.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. I wish that I'd spent more time with my paternal grandmother before she died. She was a brilliant, ferocious woman who had great stories to tell.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Reading.