"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, September 9, 2013

90. Brenda Janowitz

New York · Human Ecology


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I'm a mom, a wife, and a novelist. 

My third novel, Recipe for a Happy Life, was published by St. Martin's Press in July. I'm also the author of Scot on the Rocks and Jack with a Twist, and my work's appeared in the New York Post and Publisher's Weekly. My agent recently sold my New Adult novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, to Polis Books. It will be out this December.

It's been wonderful making my life-long dream of becoming a published writer come true. After Cornell, I went to law school, and I practiced law for a few years. But whether at a big NYC firm or at my federal judicial clerkship, I'd find myself wandering the halls, thinking of the stories I wanted to write. 

I live with my husband and our two sons on Long Island. Find me atwww.brendajanowitz.com or facebook.com/BrendaJanowitz ortwitter.com/brendaJanowitz and say hello!

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

My closest friends in the world are still the people I met at Cornell. 

I'm in touch with Shawn Hecht Morris, Danielle Schmelkin, Jennifer Avitabile Moss, Tandy O'Donoghue, and Jessica Shevitz Rauch. We meet for girls nights out, have our kids play together, celebrate all of our good times and support each other through the bad ones.

There's just something about the people who have known you since you were 18 years old. That sort of friendship is so unbelievably special.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

There are just too many to name. But one of the experiences I always look back on and think about was my semester abroad in Seville, Spain. 

I learned so much about myself that semester-- in a country where I barely spoke the language with a bunch of people I didn't know, I was completely out of my comfort zone. But ultimately, it gave me a sense of confidence. It made me realize that I could do anything.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I'm not sure that I would change anything. Sure, there are times that make me look back and positively cringe, but I think that part of life is having lots of experiences-- the good, the bad, and the completely humiliating. I don't think I'd be the same person if I hadn't gone through all of the various experiences I had during my college years.