Kurt Andersen, Arianna Huffington, Tom Brokaw, and praise for the book launch party.
How I love author parties!
According to what I read in The New York Times this morning, it looks like there was quite a splash of a party this past Monday night to celebrate Kurt Andersen’s new book, “True Believers” (unfortunately the book was given a less-than-stellar review by Janet Maslin elsewhere in the paper).
There were lots of high-profile attendees: Salman Rushdie, Martha Stewart, Tom Brokaw, Charlie Rose, Diane von Furstenberg, host Graydon Carter… the list goes on. Ah, to have been there!
I’ll never forget my first author party when I was a young editor just starting out at Ballantine Books. Ok, since you asked, I’ll tell you about it.
The party was at a restaurant/bar somewhere in Chelsea. I don’t even remember what book it was for, but I was so excited to be invited and to attend. Of course reality never matches expectation, and soon after I arrived at the party I realized it was full of people who knew each other, none of whom I knew. I went to the bar to fetch a drink, and stood nervously and awkwardly alone by the bar for a few minutes. An older gentleman sitting nearby, spotting me and my obvious anxiety, took pity.
“Hello,” he said, “and who are you?” I told him my name.
“Where do you work?” he continued. I filled him in. He nodded. The conversation paused.
“And who are you?” I then asked in return.
“Victor Navasky,” he replied.
I nodded, and asked what I thought was the next appropriate question: “And where do you work?”
He stared at me for a moment, straightened his spine, and said pointedly “I am the editor of The Nation.” And then he got up and walked away.
Ah well, live and learn, as they say. Graydon Carter, if you invite me to the next book party you host, I promise I will not ask you where you work!