New Yorker; Red Carpet

DIDION is mentioned in The Book Bench on the New Yorker website.

NOVEMBER 20, 2008

RED CARPET

Black ties, red carpets, and Bellinis seem a more likely combination for socialites and movie stars than for writers. It’s Wednesday night, at Cipriani’s Wall Street, and it’s the National Book Awards. The crowd looks coiffed and buttoned up—tuxedos dot the landscape, and cameras flash as the guests begin to arrive.

I’m introduced to Drew Gilpin Faust, whose book, “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” sits nearby, in a cake tower with books by the other finalists, decorated beneath a shower of rose petals. She’s excited to be here. What was it like to write about death? “In the nineteenth century, there was a very different view of death,” she explains. “You ought to think about it all the time; it’s not something you should put aside, and hope it didn’t interrupt you. A good death entailed thinking about it and preparing for it.”

And what of books and their fate? Is it scary time? “Yep!” Kim Wylie, of Publishers Group West, says. “It’s an interesting time in the book business. You know, as the old saying goes, books are affordable luxuries.” She laughs. “Books and chocolate, maybe?”

Joan Didion, a latecomer, stands near the entrance. We’re in what used to be the New York Stock Exchange, I tell her, and we’re celebrating books. “I find that interesting too,” Didion says. “But I can’t go anywhere with that.” Are you worried about books? “Oh,” she says. “I’m more worried about Wall Street at the moment!”

Visit http://www.newyorker.com for more.

©2008, The New Yorker

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Visit Our New Site

  • Visit Our New Site

  • Visit Our New Site

  • Visit Our New Site

%d bloggers like this: