Tama Janowitz

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Tama Janowitz

Tama Janowitz (born April 12, 1957 San Francisco, California) is an American novelist and a short story writer.[1] She is often referenced as one of the main "brat pack" authors, along with Bret Easton Ellis, Mark Lindquist and Jay McInerney.[2]

Life[edit]

Her parents, a psychiatrist father, Julian Janowitz, and literature professor mother, Phyllis Janowitz, divorced when she was ten. She grew up with her mother in Massachusetts.[3]

She graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in 1977, and from Hollins College with a M.A. in 1979.[4]

She studied at the Columbia University School of the Arts and started writing about life in New York City, where she had settled down. She socialized with Andy Warhol[5] and became well known in New York's literary and social circles. Her 1986 collection of short stories, Slaves of New York brought her wider fame.[5] Slaves of New York was adapted into a 1989 film directed by James Ivory and starring Bernadette Peters. Janowitz wrote the screenplay and also appeared, playing Peters' friend.

Janowitz has been an icon of literary success to at least one generation of writers. She has published seven novels, one collection of stories and one work of non-fiction. She left Manhattan to live in Brooklyn with her husband, Tim Hunt, and their daughter.[6] She now lives near Ithaca, New York.[7]

Her memoir, Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction, was published in August 2016 to widespread interest and reviews both positive and negative. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Ada Calhoun noted Janowitz's deadpan, almost careless way of looking at her own life and the glamor of hanging out with Andy Warhol and dancing at Studio 54. The review also addressed the concern with material goods and financial security that drives many of Janowitz's novels and led her to appear in ads for Amaretto and other products. Wrote Calhoun, "This memoir — which spans her childhood (partly spent in 1968 Israel, where her family was booted from a hotel for not paying), her adventuresome youth (she had a fling with a 63-year-old Lawrence Durrell when she was 19), her career struggles and successes, and her more recent life as caretaker to her dying mother — shows that she comes by her obsession with money honestly."[8]

In her fifties, Janowitz discovered a love of horseback riding, as described in her memoir.

Awards[edit]

  • 1975 Bread Loaf Writers fellowship
  • 1976; 1977 Janoway Fiction prize
  • 1982 National Endowment award [9]

Fiction[edit]

Nonfiction[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]