The receptionist: an education at the New Yorker

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In 1957, when a young Midwestern woman landed a job at The New Yorker, she didn’t expect to stay long at the reception desk. But stay she did, and for twenty-one years she had the best seat in the house. In addition to taking messages, she ran interference for jealous wives checking on adulterous husbands, drank with famous writers at famous watering holes throughout bohemian Greenwich Village, and was seduced, two-timed, and proposed to by a few of the magazine’s eccentric luminaries. This memoir of a particular time and place is an enchanting tale of a woman in search of herself.

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9781616201319
9781616201586
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 94f923c3-5a13-e63c-861b-c8d1a1952a57
Grouping Title receptionist an education at the new yorker
Grouping Author groth janet
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-22 04:48:38AM
Last Indexed 2018-10-22 04:52:01AM

Solr Details

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author Groth, Janet, 1936-
author_display Groth, Janet
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display_description

Thanks to a successful interview with a painfully shy E. B. White, a beautiful nineteen-year-old hazel-eyed Midwesterner landed a job as receptionist at The New Yorker. There she stayed for two decades, becoming the general office factotum—watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the eccentric inhabitants of the eighteenth floor. In addition to taking their messages, Groth watered their plants, walked their dogs, boarded their cats, and sat their children (and houses) when they traveled. And although she dreamed of becoming a writer herself, she never advanced at the magazine.

This memoir of a particular time and place is as much about why that was so as it is about Groth's fascinating relationships with poet John Berryman (who proposed marriage), essayist Joseph Mitchell (who took her to lunch every Friday), and playwright Muriel Spark (who invited her to Christmas dinner in Tuscany), as well as E. J. Kahn, Calvin Trillin, Renata Adler, Peter Devries, Charles Addams, and many other New Yorker contributors and bohemian denizens of Greenwich Village in its heyday.

During those single-in-the-city years, Groth tried on many identities—Nice Girl, Sex Pot, Dumb Blonde, World Traveler, Doctoral Candidate—but eventually she would have to leave The New Yorker to find her true self.

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owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills, Glencarlyn
primary_isbn 9781616201319
publishDate 2012
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subject_facet Groth, Janet, -- 1936-, New Yorker (New York, N.Y. : 1925) -- Biography, Periodicals -- Publishing -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 20th century, Receptionists -- Biography
title_display The receptionist : an education at the New Yorker
title_full The Receptionist An Education at The New Yorker, The receptionist : an education at the New Yorker / Janet Groth
title_short The receptionist :
title_sub an education at the New Yorker
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography, Nonfiction