Born in New York City to a Tunisian father and a Swiss mother, Jaouad attended The Juilliard School's pre-college program for the double bass, and earned her BA with highest honors from Princeton University and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College.
Jaouad's career aspirations as a war correspondent were cut short when, at age 22, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She began writing her New York Times column “Life, Interrupted” from her hospital room at Sloan-Kettering, and has since become a fierce advocate for those living with illness and enduring life’s many other interruptions.
Jaouad served on Barack Obama's Presidential Cancer Panel, the national advisory board of the Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation, and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Arts & Letters Committee. She was awarded the Red Door Advocacy & Community Service Award, and has been an artist in residence at Ucross, ArtYard, and the Kerouac Project.
Jaouad travels the world teaching workshops and speaking, and she was an Anacapa Scholar in Residence at the Thacher School and a lecturer in the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University. She has appeared on the Today Show, NPR's Talk of the Nation, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Times and Glamour, among others.
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