University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States
In 1966, Acocella received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
Acocella at the National Book Critics Circle award nominations.
("Mark Morris", written with the choreographer's full coop...)
"Mark Morris", written with the choreographer's full cooperation, is part biography, part critical study. It describes how Mark Morris lived and how he turned his life - and music, narrative and tradition - into dance, and it discusses how to look at his dances.
(In "Creating Hysteria", Joan Acocella tells a riveting ta...)
In "Creating Hysteria", Joan Acocella tells a riveting tale of therapists, betraying their patients, of a psychotherapy profession at war within its own ranks, and finally of ex patients, rising up and putting an end to the MPD scandal.
(The first publication of the unexpurgated diaries of the ...)
The first publication of the unexpurgated diaries of the Russian ballet dancer, tracing his descent into psychosis over six weeks in the winter of 1917-1918, includes a previously unavailable notebook, an introduction and illustrations. Edited by Joan Acocella.
(Expanding on her absorbing and controversial 1995 New Yor...)
Expanding on her absorbing and controversial 1995 New Yorker article, Joan Acocella examines the politics of Willa Cather criticism: how Cather’s work has been seized upon and often distorted by critics on both the left and the right. Acocella argues, that the central element of Cather’s works was not a political agenda, but rather a tragic vision of life. This beautifully written book makes a significant contribution to Cather studies and, at the same time, points out the follies of political criticism in the study of all literature.
(Jessie MacKinnon Hartzell arrived in Northern Thailand in...)
Jessie MacKinnon Hartzell arrived in Northern Thailand in 1912. She was awed by its beauty and became devoted to its people. This work casts light on colonialism, the Asia missions and the convulsive change,s that a newly united Thailand underwent in the early 20th century. Edited by Joan Acocella.
(Here is a dazzling collection from Joan Acocella, one of ...)
Here is a dazzling collection from Joan Acocella, one of the most admired cultural critics: thirty-one essays, that consider the life and work of some of the most influential artists of our time (and two saints: Joan of Arc and Mary Magdalene). Acocella writes about Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor and chemist, who wrote the classic memoir, "Survival in Auschwitz"; M.F.K. Fisher, who, numb with grief over her husband’s suicide, dictated the witty and classic "How to Cook a Wolf"; and many other subjects, including Dorothy Parker, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Saul Bellow. "Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints" is an indispensable reading on the making of art — and the courage, perseverance and, sometimes, dumb luck, that it requires.
In 1966, Acocella received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Later, in 1983, she got a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University.
During the period from 1983 till 1985, Joan edited Dance Magazine in New York City. Between 1983 and 1984, as well as 1986 and 1987, she lectured at State University of New York at Purchase. From 1988 till 1990, Acocella held a post of a dance critic at 7 Days in New York City.
In 1991, Joan began working as a dance critic at The New York Daily News (officially titled Daily News), a post she continued to hold until 1993, when she was made a dance critic at Financial Times in London. In 1996, Joan moved to The Wall Street Journal, where she held the same post of a dance critic until 1998.
Since 1998, Acocella has been working as a staff writer for The New Yorker.
In addition, Joan has penned several books, including "Mark Morris" (1993), a biography of modern dancer and choreographer Mark Morris, "Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder" (1999), "Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism" (2000), "Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints" (2007), which explores the virtues, common among extraordinary artists. Moreover, she edited such works, as "André Levinson on Dance" (1991), "The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky: Unexpurgated Edition" (1999), as well as "Mission to Siam: The Memoirs of Jessie MacKinnon Hartzell" (2001).
(Here is a dazzling collection from Joan Acocella, one of ...)2007
(In "Creating Hysteria", Joan Acocella tells a riveting ta...)1999
(The first publication of the unexpurgated diaries of the ...)1999
(Expanding on her absorbing and controversial 1995 New Yor...)2000
("Mark Morris", written with the choreographer's full coop...)1993
(Jessie MacKinnon Hartzell arrived in Northern Thailand in...)2001
(Edited by Joan Acocella and Lynn Garafola.)1991
"Alcohol may also persuade us, that we have found the truth about life, a comforting experience rarely available in the sober hour."
"Dance is the most intimate art, the most unbrainy art, because it is done wholly with the body, which is so limited in its ability to speak anything, but the truth."
"The virtue of a piece is the writer’s thoughts."
Joan married Nicholas Acocella in 1966. Their marriage produced one child - Bartholomew MacKinnon. In 1991, Joan and Nicholas divorced.