Alexandra Penney is an artist, best-selling author, former editor-in-chief of Self magazine, and originator, with Evelyn Lauder, of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness. Her new book, The Bag Lady Papers, comes out in February from Hyperion. She also had a one-person show at Galerie in Berlin in April and her work was shown at Miami’s Art Basel. She lives in New York, has one treasured son in Los Angeles and more amazing friends than could ever be imagined.

In an excerpt from her new book The Bag Lady Papers, Alexandra Penney on the depressing aftermath of losing her fortune to Bernie Madoff and the manifold indignities of downward mobility.

Inspired by losing her life savings to Bernie Madoff, The Daily Beast’s Alexandra Penney produced a series of photographs featuring dolls who suffered the same fate. VIEW OUR GALLERY.

A year ago, Bernie Madoff wiped out Alexandra Penney—whose new book on the ordeal comes out in February. In the latest installment of the Bag Lady Papers, she’s says she’s been daydreaming about Aston Martins, black diamond earrings, and other things she’d buy if she was still a millionaire.

Madoff victim Alexandra Penney on Bernie’s sentencing, Ruthie’s cruel fate—left with just $2.5 million!—and the finer things in her frugal new life: a classic piece from an Upper East Side thrift shop.

Madoff victim and Daily Beast blogger Alexandra Penney on Bernie's dirty fantasies, living the frugal life, and some post-Ponzi schadenfreude—like seeing Ruthie's roots.

Madoff victim and Daily Beast blogger Alexandra Penney has discovered an even more repugnant sociopath than Bernie: his loyal wife Ruth, who now wants to keep $69 million, including the penthouse. Outraged Penney asks: Excusez moi?

Bernard Madoff may have stolen all her money—but he also got her a book deal. The Daily Beast’s Alexandra Penney on her fury at the SEC—and the thrill of sipping Cristal again.

Alexandra Penney—a New York artist and former editor of Self Magazine—lost her life savings in the Madoff debacle. She is sharing her wrenching trauma in an exclusive series of Daily Beast blog posts.