Elena Oumano, Ph.D., book author, music journalist, lecturer

Elena Oumano


Elena Oumano is the author, co-author, or ghost of twenty-two books. They include several insightful biographies on figures ranging from rock & roll icon Elvis Presley to inspirational speaker and best-selling author Marianne Williamson (who cooperated with the writing of this biography), several books on film and theater, as well as self-help titles that help readers address key issues related to health and well-being by blending psychology and standard medical approaches with holistic solutions. While her own writing is uniquely vivid and clear, Elena is particularly gifted at adapting her style to suit the voice of her co-authors.

Elena is also an internationally recognized music, film, and celebrity journalist, known for her lively, vivid writing on all genres of pop music and movies for The New York Times, The Village Voice, L.A. Times, Spin, The Nation, Amazon.com, Interview magazine, L.A. Weekly, Image Magazine of the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle, New York Newsday, sonicnet.com, the GRAMMY magazine, Taxi magazine, and many other periodicals and media outlets. From 1994 until 2000, she was Billboard magazine’s Jamaican and Caribbean Music Correspondent. She also served as that magazine’s hip-hop columnist from 1998-1999. Elena has appeared on A&E’s “Biography” program, BET-television and many other television and radio programs in connection with her books and articles. She also lectures around the world on the various subjects covered in her writings, including holistic approaches to health and healing.

Elena is a professor of Communications at the City University of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Language & Communications from New York University. She has pursued additional non-degree studies in counseling, yoga instruction, various holistic health disciplines, and post-Freudian psychoanalysis.
Her books include:


Love Prescription: Healing the War Between Black Men and Women (co-authored with Dr. Jeff Gardere, Fireside, December, 2002)
Authored by a popular psychologist and New York City talk show host, this title addresses relationship issues faced by men and women in the African-American community.

The Physician's Guide To Healing Fibroids (co-authored with Allan Warshowsky, M.D., Pocket Books, August, 2002)
A complementary physician’s approach to preventing and treating a serious medical problem confronted by half of American women today.

Seven Attitude Adjustments for Finding Love (co-authored with Dr. Audrey B. Chapman; Pocket Books, August, 2001)
A well-known D.C.-area radio personality and psychotherapist’s latest book to tackle relationship issues faced by African-American women.

Natural Sex (Dutton, February, 1999)
A holistic approach that draws on modern western strategies as well as ancient Eastern disciplines to enhance health and sexual response.

Painting From the Source (co-authored with Aviva Gold; HarperCollins, October, 1998)
Explores the connection between “free painting” and shedding negative thought and behavior patterns.

The Handbook of Folk Remedies (Avon Books, 1997)
A convenient handbook listing effective folk remedies to common health ailments.

Why Do I Need You to Love Me in Order to Like Myself? (co-authored with Dr. Barry Lubetkin; Long Meadow Press, 1993)
Offers eye-opening insights into self-esteem issues, with a workbook component that includes exercises, checklists, and self-assessment quizzes.

Bailing Out: The Healthy Way to Get Out of a Bad Relationship and Survive (co-authored with Dr. Barry Lubetkin; Prentice-Hall, February, 1991)
Described by Oprah Winfrey on her television talk show as “the best book ever written on this subject.”

Music, Film, and Celebrity Biographies

Cinema Today: A Conversation with 39 Filmmakers from Around the World (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

Good Rocking: Twenty Years on the Road and On the Town with Elvis
Co-authored with Joe Esposito; Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Marianne Williamson (St. Martin's Press, 1993)

Paul Newman (St. Martin's Press; April, 1989; also published in Japan and England)
Elena is featured prominently on the "A&E Biography" television segment on Paul Newman.

Sam Shepard: The Life and Work of an American Dreamer (St. Martin's Press; 1986-hardcover; 1987-paperback; also published in England)

Movies for a Desert Isle (St. Martin’s Press; 1987)

Film Forum: 35 Top Filmmakers Speak about their Art (St. Martin’s Press; 1984, also published in Germany, England, and in soft cover)

Selected Works

nonfiction book
From "Cinematic Rhythm & Structure": Cinema’s ability to defy ordinary limits of time and space means that a film’s structure can be as complex as an architectural space with various angles of entry and points of view, hidden rooms, and twisting, turning passageways. Some films are labyrinths in which the viewer searches for resolution, a way out, while other films are like big empty rooms in which everything is visible.
magazine article
I was there myself in '69, hired to oversee ticket-taking, and since there were no fences, I wound up backstage, eating grapes, drinking champagne punch, and dipping my pinkie into a vial of Orange Sunshine with one of the acts and his entourage. It would be more accurate to say that I dream Woodstock whenever I think about it, rather than remember it. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-06-03/music/you-weren-t-there-then-so-go-there-now/
Great cinema seduces us with details, and Melville's a masterful image maker, prone to deeply shadowed, ravaged faces and urban landscapes, barren hotel rooms and dazzling nightclubs. His damaged but honorable thieves, uniformed in trench coats, fedoras, and cigarettes, are betrayed by interchangeable femme fatales sporting cat's-eye maquillage, pencil skirts, and stiletto heels as they act out their unvarying role: agent of fate in the protagonist's inevitable destruction. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-07-29/film/six-decades-of-french-noir-come-to-film-forum./
Every dawn, as sunlight glinting off the top spire of the Empire State Building streams through the skylight positioned just over Flash Rosenberg’s bed, she springs up, eager for the fun of doing Flash work. She’s an award-winning filmmaker, a 2011 Guggenheim fellow in film and video, a performer in storytelling venues like Monologues and Madness and The Moth and a poet with Brevitas, and her audio snapshots—“Flash Moments”—were a daily public radio feature.
Magazine article
Magazine Articles
Free speech, cultural sovereignty, and human rights clash in reggae dancehall homophobia debate
Music Writing
Insights from an insider into Caribbean and African culture and music.
From Altman to Godard to Scorsese, Oumano interviewed the world’s greatest auteur filmmakers on the primary issues of filmmaking then edited their responses into a revolutionary "you are there" symposium format.
Authored by a popular psychologist and New York City talk show host and ghosted by Oumano, this title addresses relationship issues faced by men and women in the African-American community.