At some point in your professional life as a media person, have you come into contact with Rielle Hunter, mistress of disgraced ex-presidential candidate John Edwards? Now is your chance to cash in! Hunter, as we've learned, has led a long and storied life among artists, writers, and men she sleeps with in the hopes that they're "powerful." One such man was Jay McInerney, who used a thinly fictionalized Hunter as the narrator of one of his "novels" (like Tumblrs but longer and on paper). That novel, the mostly forgotten Story of My Life, has just been reprinted and is fast climbing the Amazon sales charts. It's currently 226 at the internet bookseller. Last week it was, like, nowhere. Will all these voracious new readers enjoy the book? Michiko Kakutani didn't like it that much back in 1988. (Her review is also an awesome early example of her insane obsession with comparing every jaded young protagonist to Holden fucking Caulfield. Haven't you read like a million books, Michiko?? Find one more example of an adolescent narrator please!)
Rielle Hunter lived a rich second life as a character in literary fiction before allegedly luring Democratic politician John Edwards into a rich second life as father to her love child. You'll recall the actress was the inspiration for the pivotal bad girl, Alison Poole, in a novel by Jay McInerney. And that McInerney's friend Bret Eason Ellis extended Poole's highly sexual run in two of his own novels, Glamorama and American Psycho. As luck would have it, the 2000 movie adaptation of the latter book, starring Christian Bale, retains some discussion of Poole. As this video excerpt makes clear, Rielle Hunter — sorry, Alison Poole — had a reputation that preceded her. Click the icon to watch.
Once-glamorous novelist Jay McInerney has opened up about Rielle Hunter, the alleged mother to John Edwards' love child and inspiration for a "sexually voracious" character in his 1988 novel, Story Of My Life. Though McInerney made his mark depicting the cocaine-fueled excess of New York in the 1980s, Rielle was still a bit much for him, he told the Post:
Remember how Wikipedia revealed that there's a character in an old Jay McInerney book based on Rielle Hunter, the woman who allegedly gave birth to John Edwards' love child? Well some enterprising Wikipedia editor erased that nugget of TRUE and NOTABLE information. Thankfully Radar actually picked up the book itself, and they share some words of wisdom from the fictional version of John Edwards' alleged mistress.
1) Donna Karan's annual designer garage sale in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund was co-hosted by InStyle and Kelly Ripa on Saturday. Betsey Johnson, Lydia Hearst, Euan Rellie, Lorraine Bracco, Jessica Stam, Katie Lee Joel, Debbie Matenopoulos, Hana Soukupova, Charlotte Ronson, and Nanette Lepore browsed stalls manned by the likes of Rachel Zoe and Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, raising $3.6 million. [FWD]
Of all the cameos on Gossip Girl (Lydia Hearst! A kid I knew in college!), this one has to be my favorite. Jay McInerney is doing a guest spot next season. One of our saddest writers, McInerney wrote a definitive novel about youngs in New York called Bright Lights, Big City about sixty-three years ago and has been sorta mooching and blogging and bopping around since. (Oh fine, I suppose he's written some other novels too.) Matthew Settle, who plays Pa Humphrey on the New York City-set teen soap about the sadness and mystery of money, says that ol' Jay will be playing a mentor to Dan, a strapping DUMBO teen who aspires to be a writer (he's already been published in The New Yorker! Fist bump!) So that's just pretty much hilarious. Hopefully he'll enjoy the crafts services.
It's a thorny issue grappled with by the best of us: When you're invited to spend the weekend at someone's palatial Hamptons residence, what kind of gift should you bring in order to create the right impression, not look like a cheap freeloader, and secure that all-important second invitation? Well, agonize no more, because The Sun has gathered together some top tips from both guests and hosts, so you'll know what to come armed with next time—or, you can see if you want to invite certain people based on what they might bring.
1) The first New York benefit of the Young Patrons Circle of the Friends of the Louvre took place Tuesday night at Espace: Devoted socials like Olivia Chantecaille, Fabiola Beracasa, Alexandra Papanicalaou, Lisa Anastos, Annabel Vartanian, Melissa Berkelhammer, and Devorah Rose bid on photographer Candida Hofer's pictures of the Louvre's galleries. [Park Avenue Peerage/PMc]
Think of how easy it might have been to understand Arianna Huffington's bloggy animus toward Tim Russert if there were a book out chronicling all the sordid details of their decade-and-a-half-long secret feud. (There is.) Every gossip-mongering gadabout should know the full backstory on every spat, falling out, and long-running mutual antagonism in media. Below are the volumes no shelf should be without.
Writes a tipster, "Anyone at the Beatrice Inn party last night for The Chelsea? [Paul Sevigny's newest venture, a boutique hotel in Atlantic City.] While standing in line, in back of [53-year-old louche novelist and former "literary brat-packer"] Jay McInerney, a guy behind me says rather loudly, "Do you think he knows he's 30 years late to this party?" Oh, Jay, we say: you wrote Brightness Falls and can do whatever the hell you want.
So how is Portfolio magazine doing with its newly topical covers? The concept illustration, a golden gas nozzle, leaking more gold, is attention-grabbing. And the cover story (teased with a Boom!) is tantalizing: business is thriving, oil deals are flowing, McMansions are rising... in Iraq. We're not the most generous judges of Joanne Lipman's Portfolio, and the dissection of the lavishly funded Conde Nast title is a monthly ritual. Even if we were fair, we'd have to say: author Denis Johnson's feature, like Iraq itself, promises much and doesn't deliver. Why not?
Back when House and Garden published his winey online ramblings, semi-simian author Jay McInerney could justify his barfy hedonism by claiming it was for a greater literary good. But the magazine folded and the blog has been mute since Halloween. McInerney has been, presumably, casting about the cosmos for something to make his life worth living. [N.B.: There isn't anything! Give up, donkey!] Despite our opinion to the contrary, Mcinerney has found a raison d'etre. McInerney is helping his friend Audra Allen establish a sanctuary in East Hampton for a colony of monkey artists. "I find it interesting from the point of view of rescuing and rehabilitating chimps," he said. "And as a naturally curious person, it's intriguing to encounter these close relatives." Closer than you think, Jay!
"Carrying this book around recently I've caught more than a little flak, not least from my kids, who once thought of me as a literary intellectual ..." writes dissipated wunderkind Jay McInerney in a book called 'How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read.' Maybe Jay's kids are only pretending to have read Jay's books? That is the charitable explanation. [NYT]
Dana Vachon is parlaying his short-lived stint at J.P. Morgan and brief moment in the literary spotlight into a career writing about Wall Street for women's magazines. Take this month's effort, a 5-page spread in Marie Claire called "A Field Guide to Wall Street's Women": the Social Commando, the Ivy Beleaguered, the Nuptialista, and the Big Swinging Chick. What does each of these women tell us about Dana?
We just got back from that brunch with Jay McInerney. Who else—plied by the promise of free brunch, Bloody Marys and swag—took time out of their busy busy day? Spotted at the bar, grasping hefty noon Bloody Marys were Hunter Hill of Paper mag, Brett Thorne of the Sun, Jessica Green (wife of Bill Buford), Black Book EIC Steve Garbarino avec sa femme, Nicole Miller and film exec Sarah Colleton. And then there was Jay McInerney. This is the first time we've met Jay face a face and he, IRL, doesn't disappoint. He looks almost exactly like a ventriloquist dummy: same grin, those blue eyes at once profound and shallow, the curly hair that looks like a Pixar simulation. When he laughs he actually says the word, "Heh." When we approached him he was inviting Nicole Miller up to his Water Mill house for a party he and Anne were having Friday. Candace Bushnell and her husband Charles were staying the weekend and Brooke Shields was expected. "Jay," we said, "we have some reader-submitted questions for you." His blue eyes grew murky and the grin deepened into a grimace. "Our first question comes from TheBigDoggy who asks, 'What's the best burgundy to serve with writer's block?'" McInerney paused before answering.
In a couple of hours, chronicler of his own loucheness and nominal author Jay McInerney will be hosting brunch at Paris Commune to celebrate Paris Commune serving brunch on weekdays. He's doing it as a favor to his ex, a woman named Jeanine Pepler who runs the PR firm that reps the restaurant. (The story of their connubial dissolution was chronicled by McInerney in an anthology called "Committed." Read the Salon interview.) Today's invitation promises a fabulous giftbag and "as many Bloody Marys as the midday will permit." We've wrangled an invitation by promising we won't be overtly hostile to Mr. McInerney. We will not gently rap him on the forehead and ask, "Is anyone home? Helloooo!? What's your trick, Mr. Magic?" Which is where you come in. Do you have any suggestions for questions we could pose? That aren't rude? When we see him at noon, we'll ask him.
How has Jay McInerney survived, even prospered? He's like one of those runts of the litter on a Discovery channel documentary: Not smart enough to find the teat, not wily enough to outfox predators. So sad. And yet! For decades, somehow McInerney has turned his loose-living puppy-eyed idiocy into the stuff of salary. His blog for House and Garden has recently chronicled his inability to walk functionally or to talk about anything but his failed film adaptation of "Bright Lights, Big City." The latest post catches McInerney at his best. At the end of a meal at Babbo, McInerney comes into some unpleasantness.