“Life’s Not Like That for Others?”

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For Tablet, Batya Ungar-Sargon profiles Tama Janowitz, who took the literary world by storm in the ’80s, then faded from view while contemporaries like Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis achieved more lasting success.

Janowitz, whose “sentences sparkle, rife with stunning visuals and cutting observations,” comes off as delightfully caustic, weathering the difficulties of her life with incisive, no-bullshit observations both in her fiction and in person.

She also “gives short shrift to egos (especially male egos)”—one person on Twitter called it “the acoustic version of” “What Men Talk About When They Talk About Mary Gaitskill.”


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →