Friday, January 4

God bless the white elites

Ah, the "Escapes" section! A few tweaks here and there and this would make one hell of an Onion article:
At one Manhattan couple’s weekend home in the Catskills, books seem to have a life of their own. Molly Stern, the editorial director for fiction at Viking/Penguin, and Jay Mandel, a literary agent at William Morris, have a restored farmhouse on 50 acres in Jeffersonville in Sullivan County, N.Y., where, not surprisingly, they have a lot of books. They also have frequent house guests and sometimes lend the house to friends.

The attic loft houses what Ms. Stern calls “well-loved” books, like a first edition of “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith. Children’s books are on the second floor. The first floor has books on gardening and cooking “as well as tabloid magazines and newspapers.” As a counterpoint to the rural setting, they keep handy a copy of “The Works: Anatomy of a City” by Kate Asher. Other favorites include the crime novels of George Pelecanos.

“It’s great to see what happens to books when you’re not there,” Ms. Stern said. “Lorrie Moore’s ‘Birds of America’ migrates from the loft to a bedroom. John Cheever frequently finds his way into a guest room.” One time, Ms. Stern said, she arrived at the house to find Emily Dickinson waiting to be read in the master bedroom.

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