Diane Josefowicz ’08 Publishes Novella 'L’Air Du Temps (1985)'

Lisa Cochran
March 22, 2024

L’Air Du Temps (1985), a novella by Writing alumna Diane Josefowicz ’08, was published by Regal House Titles earlier this month. 

The book follows thirteen-year-old alliteratively-named Zinnia Zompa, who—when Mr. Marfeo, a childhood neighbor and her father’s accountant, is shot—starts to see the darker side of her family. Her mother is at her father’s patriarchal whims and has been rendered almost unrecognizable from the figure she was in Zinnia’s childhood. Her father is supportive of the man accused of murdering Mr. Marfeo. Zinnia’s maternal grandfather and the family dog are both in steep decline. 

L’Air Du Temps (1985), which is set in the suburban neighborhood of Maple Bay amid the backdrop of 1980s pop culture, is a special project for Josefowicz. In an interview with Providence Weekly, Josefowicz shared that she'd been writing about the main character for several years, looking for the best way to tell her story. "She’s really close to my heart,” Josefowicz said. “Zinnia, the narrator, is trying to figure out things in her life that don’t make sense.”

"L'Air du Temps (1985) is a gorgeously written exploration of memory and childhood—of the things we choose not to know, and how they live in us against our will,” writes Robin McLean, author of Pity the Beast. “Josefowicz takes us on an intoxicating deep dive into the psyche of America just before now, when consumerism was in full swing and mystery seemed to have been killed off forever.”

L’Air Du Temps (1985) is available for purchase here

In addition to L’Air Du Temps (1985), Diane Josefowicz is also the author of the novel Ready, Set, Oh (Flexible Press, 2022) as well as the forthcoming short story collection Guardians and Saints. She is the reviews editor at Necessary Fiction and the associate fiction editor at West Trade Review, and was the National Director of Research at Swing Left, a political organization, in 2018. Her essays and fiction can be read in Conjunctions, Dame, the LA Review of Books, Fence, and elsewhere. She has also co-written two non-fiction history books—The Zodiac of Paris (Princeton University Press, 2010) and The Riddle of the Rosetta (Princeton University Press, 2020)—with Jed Z. Buchwald. She holds a BA from Brown University as well as a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.