Deborah Copaken

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Deborah Copaken
Born Deborah Elizabeth Copaken
(1966-03-11) March 11, 1966 (age 49)
Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Known for Arts and letters, photography

Deborah Copaken (born March 11, 1966[1]) is an American author and photojournalist.

Personal life[edit]

She was born Deborah Elizabeth Copaken[2] in Boston. The daughter of Marjorie Ann (née Schwartz) and Richard Daniel Copaken, who served as a White House Fellow for President Lyndon B. Johnson, she grew up in Maryland, first in Adelphi and then from 1970 in Potomac.[3][4][5][6] She attended Harvard University.

As an adult, Copaken has lived in Paris and Moscow before moving to New York in 1992.[6] She and former spouse Paul M. Kogan have three children, including actor Jacob Kogan.[7][8]


Prior to beginning a writing career, Copaken was a television producer at ABC and NBC and a war photographer.[6][9][10] Her novel Between Here and April[11] was published in 2008 and won the November Elle Reader's Prize.[12] In 2009, she released a book of comic essays, Hell is Other Parents, some of which appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times.[13][14] In 2001, she published a memoir of her experiences in photojournalism, Shutterbabe.[9] Her second novel, The Red Book, published by Hyperion/VOICE in April 2012, was a New York Times bestseller.[15] The book was longlisted for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction.[9][16]

Inspired by the longlisting of her novel, Copaken in 2013 wrote an essay for The Nation detailing sexism she has encountered and observed in her career.[9][17][18][19] Among other issues, she writes that she was forced to use the titles under which her earlier books appeared.

She has performed and curated live storytelling for The Moth;[20] she has also performed on the New York stage with Afterbirth,[21] the Six Word Memoir series. She is currently adapting Shutterbabe as a TV series for NBC.[22]

In February 2015, following a hysterectomy, she conducted a performance piece titled "A Dear John Letter To My Uterus" at Joe's Pub in Manhattan.[23]


  1. ^ Copaken, Deborah. "Facebook Fan page". Facebook. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Engagements; Deborah E. Copaken, Paul M. Kogan". The New York Times. 1993-04-18. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Richard Copaken Weds Marjorie Ann Schwartz". The New York Times. 1963-06-17. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c "Some Biographical Notes". Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Rosenblum, Constance (28 January 2010). "Tea and Uncertainty for a Busy Family". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Copaken, Deborah (2014-12-12). "What's in a Name, and How Do I Change Mine in the Digital Age?". Some Spider LLC. Retrieved 2015-01-10. 
  9. ^ a b c d Clark, Nick (12 April 2013). "Women’s Prize for Fiction nominee Deborah Copaken Kogan lifts the lid on sexism in publishing and the arts". The Independent. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "ENGAGEMENTS; Deborah E. Copaken, Paul M. Kogan". The New York Times. 18 April 1993. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "MODERN LOVE; La Vie en Rose, the Takeout Version". The New York Times. 2007-04-15. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  15. ^ "COMBINED PRINT & E-BOOK FICTION". The New York Times. 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  16. ^ Lipman, Jennifer (18 April 2013). "Last woman standing as four fail to make shortlist". Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Kogan, Deborah Copaken (29 April 2013). "My So-Called 'Post-Feminist' Life in Arts and Letters". The Nation. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Stoeffel, Kat (11 April 2013). "Why Women's Books Have Terrible Titles". New York Magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Dean, Michelle (17 April 2013). "How to Win at the Women's Memoir Game". New York Magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Copaken, Deborah (2014-10-31). "How I Got Rejected From a Job at The Container Store". Some Spider LLC. Retrieved 2014-10-31. 
  23. ^

External links[edit]