As a new contributing columnist for The Washington Post, Cohen isn’t trying to provide analysis or inside baseball when it comes to current happenings. Instead, Cohen says she seeks to “distill observations of family, politics, and culture into moments of clarity and insight.” Cohen, who with husband Adam Greenberg ’89 has three children—ages 15, 18, and 20—insists “you can’t leave your kids and kitchen out of it.” Especially when everyone is at home during a pandemic. Recent columns range from how she reluctantly canceled her family Thanksgiving trip to what she gained by rereading War and Peace.
Cohen, a comparative literature major, cites the late professor Terry Osborne for helping develop her essayist’s voice. He taught her first creative writing class. “He was wonderful to me,” says the Albany, New York, resident. “I miss being a student.” English professor Peter Bien is another influence. “He expected us to say interesting things about what we read,” she says. Cohen is also working on her third book, which will argue that atheists should live more honestly, despite “our reflexive deference to religion.”