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Johanna Garfield's articles and personal essays have been published in The New York Times (OpEd, Home, Arts and Leisure, and City Sections), The New York Observer, Newsday (Travel and Viewpoints Sections), Ms., Reader's Digest, McCall's, The Christian Science Monitor, and many others. She has also written about artists, museums, and art shows for Art and Antiques, Antiques and the Arts, Antique Monthly, The Paris Review, and the Smithsonian journal, American Art. In recent years, she wrote monthly art reviews for Digital City (, the online magazine of AOL.

Her first book, The Life of a Real Girl, A True Story, was published by St. Martin's Press in l986. It was also published by Sidgwick and Jackson in England, and was a selection of the Troll Book Club. Cousins: A Unique and Powerful Bond, an in-depth study of the cousin relationship (Donald I. Fine, Inc.) came out in l990 and appeared as a paperback in 1991. Both books were reissued by the Authors Guild in 2000.

She has been a guest lecturer at many writing conferences and taught classes on "Writing from Personal Experience" and "Writing Humor" at the New School, NYU, Marymount, and other colleges and high schools in the metropolitan area and New England.

She is a member of PEN, The Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Poets and Writers, and is Co-chair of the Literary Committee at the National Arts Club