Hannah Friedman

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Hannah Friedman
BornHannah Friedman
New York City, United States
OccupationWriter, director, musician
Alma materYale University
GenreNon-fiction, young adult fiction

Hannah Friedman is a writer, director, and musician from New York.


Hannah Friedman was born to a Jewish family,[1] the elder of two children born to notable singer-songwriter Dean Friedman. Hannah's mother worked for a time training monkeys. While in this job, she adopted a capuchin monkey named Amelia, who has lived with the family for almost thirty years.[2]

Friedman's high school career saw her first publication, a 2004 article in Newsweek Magazine called "When Your Friends Become The Enemy" about the difficulties of the college application process; to date, Friedman remains one of the youngest people to have been published in Newsweek.[3]

Friedman then attended Yale University. She was a winner of the 2007 Yale Playwrights Festival for her play, Spread It Thin.[4]

In 2008, Friedman won the Procter & Gamble / New York Television Festival Flying Solo competition. Her original television pilot premiered at the NYTVF and on mylifetime.com[5] and chronicled the writing process for her first book, Everything Sucks, which was published in August 2009 by HCI Books.[6]

Everything Sucks[edit]

Friedman's debut book, Everything Sucks, was a teen memoir released by HCI Books in August 2009 that recounts the story of her adolescence. It begins with the story of the year when Friedman was in middle school that her family spent living on a tour bus traveling the United Kingdom as her father performed concerts around the country. It then describes her struggle to fit in when she returned to public school, which leads her parents to put her in private school instead. After enrolling at a prestigious boarding school, Friedman falls in with the popular crowd and finally begins to live the life of which she has always dreamed, only to find that it is not quite what she had imagined.[2]

In interviews Friedman has described the book as the story of "sex, drugs, and SATs," including "a live monkey, a dead friend..., a national scandal, a diet disaster, and all the rest of that fantastic awkwardness that makes our teenage years so deliciously angst-ridden."[7] She has indicated on several occasions that she wrote it to provide honest information about real-world problems facing teenagers everywhere, the kind of information that she says she wishes had been available to her when she was in high school.

Friedman's book has been well received, with an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com.[2] Further, the book was reviewed very positively on Salon.com, which concluded, "Not only is Friedman's writing striking for its blunt, unromantic realism; her prose also displays a self-aware wit that is all too rare in the genre."[8]

Musical career[edit]

Friedman maintains a popular account on YouTube under the user name "WritingHannah."[9] Her videos often consist of original comedy songs, which Friedman typically sings while accompanying herself on the guitar; these videos have attracted thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of views.

In October 2009, Friedman was asked to perform at the 35th Anniversary Celebration of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a charity benefit gala hosted by Judy Blume that also featured appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Joan Rivers, Rachel Dratch, Michelle Branch, and Junot Diaz.[10] Friedman wrote and performed an original comedy song called "Party Like It's 1984."[11]


  2. ^ a b c "Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool: Hannah Friedman: 9780757307751: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Friedman, Hannah (2004). "When Your Friends Become the Enemy". Newsweek.
  4. ^ "Yale Playwrights Festival". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20081002045928/http://www.mylifetime.com/lifestyle/entertainment/flying-solo/video/1815816476. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The Book Muncher". thebookmuncher.blogspot.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Prep school casualty - Salon.com". salon.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "WritingHannah - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 25, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Hannah Friedman - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.

External links[edit]