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Author Archive: "Joanna Smith Rakoff"

A Fortunate Age

Four months ago, in a hospital room overlooking the variegated lights of Manhattan, I gave birth to my second child, a girl, whom my husband and I named Rebecca Pearl after both my grandmothers, the fiery, socialist, urban one and the sweet, long-suffering, rural one. One by one, our friends came to visit the new baby, who from the first moment displayed a strong, focused gaze that seemed to foretell an even stronger will. "Hello," they cooed at her, cradling the warm heft of her body and kissing the dark striations of her hair. Inevitably, though, there came a moment when they looked at me, these friends I've collected over the years — from college, grad school, various jobs — and asked, "Wait, when is your novel coming out again?" April, I told them, in a neutral voice. "Oh," the more polite and reticent said, with a worried look. "How are you going to go on tour?" the more opinionated and meddlesome demanded. "How are you going to do this?" I don't know, I told them. We'll see, I said, with a shrug to indicate I was taking ...


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