Tama Janowitz

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Tama Janowitz (born April 12, 1957) 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, and Jay McInerney.[2]


Her parents, psychiatrist Julian Janowitz, and Phyllis Janowitz, a literature professor at Cornell University, divorced when she was ten. She and her brother David grew up with her mother in Massachusetts.[3] and for two years in the late 1960s, in Israel.[4]

Janowitz graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in 1977 and from Hollins College with an M.A. in 1979.[5] In 1985 she received an M.F.A from the Columbia University School of the Arts.

Upon settling in New York City, Janowitz started writing about life there, socializing with Andy Warhol[6] and becoming well known in Manhattan literary and social circles. Her 1986 collection of short stories, Slaves of New York, brought her wider fame.[6] [7] Publishers Weekly described the book as seven stories featuring a woman named Eleanor, "a diffident young woman who gains entree to the arty milieu of lower Manhattan, which seems to combine elements of Oz and Never-Never-Land with Dante's Inferno."[8] 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 published seven novels, one collection of stories and one work of nonfiction. She left Manhattan to live in Brooklyn with her British husband and art-gallery owner, Tim Hunt,[9][10] and their daughter.[11] She now lives near Ithaca, New York.[12]

Her memoir, Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction, was published in August 2016 to reviews both positive and negative. 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. Calhoun wrote, "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."[13]


  • 1975 Bread Loaf Writers fellowship
  • 1976; 1977 Janoway Fiction prize
  • 1982 National Endowment award [14]


  • American Dad, Crown, 1981, ISBN 978-0-517-56573-5; Picador, 1988, ISBN 9780330302678
  • Slaves of New York, Crown Publishers, 1986, ISBN 978-0-517-56107-2
  • A Cannibal in Manhattan, Washington Square Press, July 1988, ISBN 978-0-671-66598-2
  • The Male Cross-Dresser Support Group, Crown Publishers, 1992, ISBN 978-0-517-58698-3; Simon and Schuster, 1994, ISBN 978-0-671-87150-5
  • By the Shores of Gitchee Gumee Crown Publishers, 1996, ISBN 978-0-517-70298-7
  • A Certain Age, Doubleday, 1999; Anchor Books, 2000, ISBN 978-0-385-49611-7
  • Hear that?, Illustrator Tracy Dockray, SeaStar Books, 2001, ISBN 978-1-58717-074-4
  • Peyton Amberg, Bloomsbury, 2003, ISBN 978-0-7475-6138-5; Macmillan, 2004, ISBN 978-0-312-31845-1
  • They Is Us, The Friday Project Limited, 2008, ISBN 9781906321123



  1. ^ "Tama Janowitz Biography". biography.jrank.org. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  2. ^ Wyatt, Edward (August 7, 2005). "Bret Easton Ellis: The Man in the Mirror". New York Times.
  3. ^ "She'll Take Manhattan", New York Magazine, July 14, 1986
  4. ^ Fulton, Alice. "Phyllis Janowitz" (PDF). blogs.cornell.edu. Cornell University. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "Tama Janowitz Biography". Biography.jrank.org. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Penguin Random House". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Current Biography Yearbook" is about the 1989 year, Tama Janowitz's biography is on page 278.
  8. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz, Author Washington Square Press $6.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-63678-4". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  9. ^ Hunt, Timothy. "Timothy Hunt". linkedln.com. Linkedin. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Tama Janowitz, Writer, Slaves of New York & Tim Hunt, Andy Warhol Foundation". vimeo.com. Vimeo, Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  11. ^ Grigoriadis, Vanessa (August 9, 1999). "Tama Janowitz, Unchained". Nymag.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  12. ^ Batya Ungar-Sargon (October 10, 2013). "Something Really Bad Is Always Happening to Former Literary 'It Girl' Tama Janowitz". Tablet Magazine.
  13. ^ Calhoun, Ada (August 19, 2016). "Tama Janowitz Grows Up". Retrieved January 20, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  14. ^ "Tama Janowitz Biography". Biography.jrank.org. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  15. ^ "Scream - Tama Janowitz - E-book". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

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