Peggy Siegal invited a media-heavy crowd to the Oak Room last night to watch the Super Bowl. Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell was in attendance (apparently, budget cuts prevented him from flying to Tampa in person); and some folks, such as former HarperCollins chief Jane Friedman, left, even donned 3-D glasses to fully appreciate the commercials. Others on hand for the festivities: Richard Johnson, Ron Perelman, Dan Abrams, Dave Zinczenko, Joanne Lipman, Charlie Rose, George Rush, Richard Meier, Cece Cord, Kate Betts, Gay Talese, Rocco DiSpirito, Chuck Scarborough, Francine LeFrak, Andrew and Nancy Jarecki, Ron Delsener, Ken Auletta, Larry Gagosian, Lewis Lapham, Steve Kroft, Lloyd Grove, Morgan Entrekin, Ann Dexter-Jones, Harry Smith, Liz Smith, Cynthia McFadden, and Felicia Taylor. [PMc, NYO, GoaG, Fox 411]
Gucci celebrated the launch of its Tattoo Heart Collection on Wednesday, a line of products that benefits UNICEF. Rihanna, who is the new face of the campaign, was joined Gucci creative director Frida Giannini at a snowflake lighting ceremony at the Grand Army Plaza, which was followed by an event at Gucci's flagship and dinner at the Plaza's Oak Room. Guests included Madonna, Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Adrian Grenier, Monet Mazur, Timbaland, Mary J. Blige, Erin Wasson, Becki Newton and Chris Diamantopoulos, Kelly Rutherford, Patricia Field, Charlotte Ronson, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Jessica Joffe, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Mamie Gummer, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Bethenny Frankel, Anja Rubik, Hal Rubenstein, Magnus Berger, Joe Zee, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and Maggie Betts. [Style.com, NYO, PMc, Wireimage]
The gossip from Frankfurt, where international rights to books are bought and sold during a traditionally ribald and booze-sodden week every October, is beginning to trickle in as the fair draws to a close. It is all lame. There's no "big book" this year, only a "big story" about the dissolution of British agency PFD, whose 85 employees simultaneously quit, leaving clients like Ruth Rendell unmoored. FSG editor Lorin Stein, who, according to our inbox, is a "notoriously arch shithead" and a "boat-shoe wearing schmuck," let Times book lady Motoko Rich follow him around as he played hooky from the fair to pick apples in the Rhine Valley and attended dinners that found him "carving slabs of pork ribs and sampling the local apple wine. ('It's wretched,' he declared after the first sip.)" Something interesting must have happened, though, at the notorious Canongate party?
Hey, you're probably wondering right now about what's going on at the London Book Fair! Psych. But there is a hot topic over at that trade show: Namely, who are the anonymous agent and "internationally bestselling" author behind a pair of romans a clef entitled Ego and Greed that agent Ali Gunn, who's repping them, says are to the media world "what Primary Colors was to Capitol Hill." She also called Ego "Heart to Heart meets The Devil Wears Prada." Make it stop! But least one editor who's read the 30,000 word submission, which Gunn says she's guarding closely and only showing to a "select group of hand-picked editors," has way less glowing things to say about the book.
Every publisher who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, their tendencies to nepotism, their "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" deals and publishing them without remorse. Publishers justify their treachery in various ways according to their temperaments. The more pompous talk about "high concepts" and "important recommendations"; the seemliest admit that, hey, the book's by one of my writer's kids; the most honest tell you that they'll pretty much publish anything if it shuts Bret Easton Ellis up.