The Bag Lady Papers: Alexandra Penney on Losing It All to Bernie Madoff

On Dec. 10, 2008, Alexandra Penney, the former editor of Self and Glamour magazines, was enjoying a second career as a professional photographer and artist. She had financial security, the apartment of her dreams in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a sprawling studio in which she was launching her budding new career. The next day, she discovered that her investment adviser, Bernard Madoff, had massively defrauded his clients, including her. Over the next few months, Penney scrambled to sell her houses in Florida and Long Island, drastically cut back on her expenses and set off in a new career direction as a blogger and writer.