Tama Janowitz rose to fame with her bestselling book Slaves of New York which was turned into a Hollywood movie by Merchant Ivory. She still lives in New York with her husband and daughter and keeps ferrets.
It seems a trite observation that you would expect a book written by a friend of Andy Warhol's to be somewhat off the wall. But this is what you get from Tama Janowitz - original thinking, creative writing and this time a witty and beautifully crafted vision of a future where all our worst dreams have come true. More William Blake than Warhol, for this reviewer, it is a book to be relished and enjoyed. But if you like reading books like this you won't be much influenced by anyone else's opinion. Just download the first few pages from this site and go with the flow. You’ll be a little concerned but also, perhaps, sufficiently enraptured to want to reach the end.
In this darkly funny, surprising memoir, the original Lit Girl and author of the era-defining Slaves of New York considers her life in and outside of New York City, from the heyday of the 1980s to her life today in a tiny upstate town that proves that fact is always stranger than fiction. With the publication of her acclaimed short story collection Slaves of New York, Tama Janowitz was crowned the Lit Girl of New York. Celebrated in rarified literary and social circles, she was hailed, alongside Mark Lindquist, Bret Easton Ellis, and Jay McInerney, as one of the original Brat Pack writers-a wave of young minimalist authors whose wry, urbane sensibility captured the zeitgeist of the time, propelling them to the forefront of American culture. In Scream, her first memoir, Janowitz recalls the quirky literary world of young downtown New York in the go-go 1980s and reflects on her life today far away from the city indelible to her work. As in Slaves of New York and A Certain Age, Janowitz turns a critical eye towards life, this time her own, recounting the vagaries of fame and fortune as a writer devoted to her art. Here, too, is Tama as daughter, wife, and mother, wrestling with aging, loss, and angst, both adolescent (her daughter) and middle aged (her own) as she cares for a mother plagued by dementia, battles a brother who questions her choices, and endures the criticism of a surly teenager. Filled with a very real, very personal cast of characters, Scream is an intimate, scorching memoir rife with the humor, insight, and experience of a writer with a surgeon's eye for detail, and a skill for cutting straight to the strangest parts of life.
Oryx & Crake meets Douglas Coupland. An unforgettable vision of the future of America. Years from now America finds itself split between the rich and the poor. The haves live in luxury within the small regions that remain unpolluted while the have-nots inhabit a toxic suburbia full of terrorism, crime and genetic mutations. Perhaps not all that different from today then? They Is Us tells the story of one family from the poor side as they go about their daily lives. Julie has a job as a summer intern at an animal laboratory. She can't resist taking home the discarded mutants and her house is filled with genetic cast offs. Her mother, Murielle, has kicked out her stepfather and now, seemingly from nowhere, finds herself subject to the attentions of multi-millionaire businessman A.J.M. Bishrop. Bishrop is only dating Murielle because he wants to get Julie's underage sister Tahnee into bed. Just your typical American family story. Set against a backdrop of increasingly invasive technology, growing pollution and the President of the USA's impending gay marriage (to be broadcast live across the nation) They Is Us features a cast of unforgettable characters that will stick in your mind long after you finish the book. Tama Janowitz has written a prophetic novel which is funny, and frequently hilarious, but is so uncannily believable that it is chilling to read. This really could be the future.
'What was the use of living in a porn film now, at her age?' pondered Peyton Amberg, alone in a glamorous Hong Kong hotel room. At twenty, when she could have pulled a film star, she'd had no sex drive at all. Then she - and her mother - had wanted love and commitment so she married the 'nebbishy Jewish dentist' who thought she was a goddess but left her cold. Now she is on a world tour of past loves and lusty last stands which are getting to feel painfully insalubrious. As the young man she pursues in Antwerp says: 'You must be as old as my mother Lady, you must be fifty.' From Hong Kong to Rio, via Milan and an English country house, Peyton has pursued her flings. And now what she wants to know is, when had women taken over the man's role, and why is the whole set-up so goddamn humiliating?
Mgungu Yabba Mgungu is living happily on the South Sea island of New Burnt Norton with his three wives, one hundred pigs and assorted children, the last remaining members of the tribe of the Lesser Pimbas. Into this uncivilised land comes Maria Fishburn, strange and beautiful heiress, who decides to marry Mgungu and drag him back to New York City. From his first encounter with airline food and with rock star Kent Gable, who declares he was recently abducted by aliens, Mgungu is plunged into a world much more predatory than anything in the South Seas. Soon Mgungu is the toast of all Manhattan, meeting Parker Junius, unctuous curator of the Museum of Primitive Arts, talking philosophy with Sophie Tuckerman, deli owner, and meeting the illustrious Joey, of pizza parlour fame. It is swathed in a huge fur coat and with his new gold pen through his nose that Mgungu finally marries Maria. But then he falls in with a motley crew who come to threaten them both.
Janowitz is a fearless writer. Her details are quirky, her language is lean and her sentences sprint along with deceptive ease. The protagonists in her stories share with her a shyness and a sense of always being out of place. Although they try in earnest to fit in, they put on the wrong clothes or say the wrong thing or fail to grasp the subtle messages other people send their way - New York Times . The shrewd observation, the skewed invention are the gifts of a singular talent - Jay McInerney.
When Florence Collins sets out for a weekend in the Hamptons, her life spirals into a disastrous series of mishaps that include an unwanted night-time visit from her friend's husband, the near drowning of their daughter, and her expulsion from the premises. Thus begins this tragi-comic novel about the sad plight of a woman on the make in Manhattan.