She graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1977, and from Hollins College with a Master of Arts She studied at the Columbia University School of the Arts and started writing about life in New York City, where she had settled down.
She is often referenced as one of the main "brat pack" authors, along with Bret Easton Ellis, Mark Lindquist and Jay McInerney. Her parents, a psychiatrist father, Julian Janowitz, and literature professor mother, Phyllis Janowitz, divorced when she was ten. in 1979. She socialized with Andy Warhol and became well known in New York"s literary and social circles.
Her 1986 collection of short stories, Slaves of New York brought her wider fame.
Slaves of New York was adapted into a 1989 film directed by James Ivory and starring Bernadette Peters. Janowitz wrote the screenplay and also appeared, playing Peters" friend.
Janowitz has published seven novels, one collection of stories and one work of non-fiction. She lives in Ithaca, New New York
Janowitz, Tama (November 12, 2007).
"The Real Thing". The New York Times. Area Code 212, Bloomsbury, 2002. Macmillan, 2005, Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction.
Dey Street Books, 19 April 2016 ().