Book Diary: Area Code 212 (Tama Janowitz)

I got this out of the library after noticing that every bookshop I went in –  where I ran my eye over the ‘J’ section – had been empty of Janowitz’s.  Perhaps she’s more prolific in the U.S.

AREA CODE 212, Tama Janowitz

(finished reading on 08/01/2009)

This is a collection of Tama’s non-fiction, which has appeared in publications like Vogue, The Independent, The Guardian and … Modern Ferret.  For which she was the cover girl, no less!

It is split into five parts: Family Life, Breakthroughs in Science and Medicine, Food, City Life and Animals.  I love her writing and wasn’t disappointed to find that her non-fiction shares many of the elements that I love in her novels.  Actually, it wasn’t really much of a leap to make because what I sense from her novels was made ‘real’ by not being fictional.

My favourite extracts were ‘Art in the Early 80s’, ‘Manhattan Manners’, ‘Some New York Apartments’ and ‘The Economy of New York’, which all came under the ‘City Life’ section.  I noted these because they articulated feelings I had, but hadn’t reconciled neatly enough – I love it when writers do this for me!  I enjoyed the other sections just as much, but for different reasons, like the richness of language, her humour, that feeling of being transported in to her life.


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