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. 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. With whom in history do you most identify?

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

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

A. Honesty. Humor. Introspection and intellectual rigor.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Soames Forsyte, from The Forsyte Saga. His villainy springs from his being so purely a product of his era and class. Poor Soames.