About Joanna Smith Rakoff

Joanna Smith Rakoff's novel, A Fortunate Age, is out this month from Scribner. She has written for The New York Times, Time Out New York, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Vogue, 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, son and daughter.

Growing A New Breed of Jews on “Weeds”

By August 31, 2009

Toward the end of the first season of Weeds, an episode begins in a rather extraordinary manner: With a close-up of an Orthodox rabbi chanting a Hebrew prayer. The camera quickly moves to the gravestone, engraved with a Magen David. … Read More

All Jewish, All the Time

By April 27, 2009

Four years ago, when Coleman was born, I sometimes attended a mothers’ group in my neighborhood, an obscure corner of the Lower East Side tucked away beneath the Williamsburg Bridge. Like many new mothers in neighborhoods across the country, I … Read More

Illness as Metaphor

By April 24, 2009

Over the course of this blog, I’ve documented, all too well, my penchant for overcommitment. But while I fully admit that, yes, most of the hectic pace of my life is my own fault—no, I didn’t really need to agree … Read More

Public Nudity

By April 23, 2009

Last summer, when I told my agent that I was pregnant, she honestly offered her heartiest congratulations – she’s a warm, generous person – but I could see a flicker of anxiety cross her pale, pretty face. "So you’re due … Read More

Everyone’s a Critic (of the Jews)

By April 22, 2009

One of the biggest–and strangest–choices a writer has to make in the months preceding the publication a book is whether or not to read your reviews. If you’re not a writer, this probably sounds insane. Why wouldn’t you read the … Read More

A Blogophobe’s Lament

By April 20, 2009

Among my wide-ranging and disparate groups of friends, I am probably considered the person least likely to, er, blog. (See, I can barely type the word—is it an actual word?—without hesitating.) This morning, in fact, when I said to my … Read More