divides her time between writing satirical novels and continuing
her successful career as a journalist and editor. She credits
her love of comedy partly to a bizarre childhood that at times
resembled The Beans of Egypt, Maine with parkway tolls.
the first 16 years of her life, Jan spent part of every summer
living in a two-room shack without running water at the end
of a dirt road the Pine Barrens, a beautiful and mysterious
wilderness in southern New Jersey.
your friends are making Smores at camp, and youre
fumigating the outhouse with a bucket of lime, comedy becomes
a useful defense, she said.
the University of New Hampshire, Jan won Mademoiselles
Guest Editor competition, which Sylvia Plath had lampooned
in The Bell Jar. She started out as an editorial assistant
at Mademoiselle, then worked as a staff writer and editor
for Glamour and editorial director of Boston.
She also spent eleven years as the book editor and critic
for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and was the
first editor-in-chief of Princeton Alumni Weekly who
did not have a degree from Princeton University.
the age of ten, Jan received the first of her many honors
and awards when she won a photography contest sponsored by
American Girl magazine. She represented her high school
at Girls State, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize,
and won first place for Art and Entertainment writing in the
Ohio Excellence in Journalism competition. From 19981999,
she was a vice-president of the National Book Critics Circle
and oversaw its book awards program.
lives in New Jersey and, on a volunteer basis, serves as the
leader of the Hunger Action Team for the Presbytery of Newark.
She is writing two more books: a third novel and a memoir
of a summer that she spent doing reels and jigs with Scottish
Country Dance groups throughout Scotland.
havent lived, she said, until youve
done The Dashing White Sergeant with a Scotsman
who has had one too many glasses of Glenfiddich.
2005 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
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