Joan Smith

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Full name: Joan Alison Smith

Area of interest: Society, human rights, feminism, secularism

Journals/Organisation: The Independent on Sunday | The Independent

Email: |

Personal website:


Blog: | |





Education: University of Reading: Latin

Career: Radio Manchester: journalist; The Sunday Times, 1979/1984; The Guardian: Weekend supplement columnist; The Independent on Sunday: Columnist

Current position/role: Commentator

  • also writes/written for: New Statesman; The Times (Book reviews)

Other roles/Main role: Author, critic, human rights activist

Other activities:

  • Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society
  • Former chair of the Writers in Prison committeee of English PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists)
  • Supporter of Republic (Campaign for a democratic alternative to the monarchy)



Broadcast media:

Video: Regular contributor to BBC radio and has presented 'What The Papers Say'


Awards/Honours: Offered an MBE for her services to PEN, 2003, but refused the award


Other: Romantically involved with journalist and politician Denis MacShane

Books & Debate:

non fiction:

  • Clouds of Deceit: Deadly Legacy of Britain's Bomb Tests OCLC 12519392, 1985
  • Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice OCLC 22116398, 1989
  • Hungry for You: From Cannibalism to Seduction - A Book of Food OCLC 40543306, 1996
  • Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women OCLC 37694786, 1997
  • Moralities: How to End the Abuse of Money and Power in the 21st Century OCLC 48931070, 2001

novels in the Loretta Lawson series:


  • Femmes De Siècle: stories from the '90s : women writing at the end of two centuries OCLC 26930053, 1992

Latest work: What will survive (2007) OCLC 85830217 (novel)


Current debate:The Diana moment: a change for the better? - 'Did Diana's death make Britain a more emotionally healthy country? Or was it just the first example of the trend to turn private grief into public spectacle?' Yes: Andrew Marr, No: Joan Smith - Prospect magazine debate, 6th July 2007

The Independent:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Society, human rights, feminism, secularism

Section: Comment

Role: Commentator




Commissioning editor:

Days published: Sunday and Friday

Regularity: Twice-weekly

Column format: Single subject

Average length:

Articles: 2017

Journals: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2008

News & updates: