“I only like to come to these things if I’ve recently published a book,” said Richard Price, author of the recently released and highly praised novel Lush Life, standing among fellow authors and editors at the Paris Review Spring Revel gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on the evening of Monday, April 14.
The crowd at the literary publication’s annual fund-raising event included writers Joan Didion, Jay McInerney and Frank McCourt, topped off with froth like departed Elle fashion director and Project Runway judge, Nina Garcia, and socialite Tinsley Mortimer.
“I don’t really know the magazine that well, I don’t read magazines,” Mr. Price told the Transom when asked how he thinks The Review has changed over the years. “My daughter is an intern there, though.” (We quietly wondered how that gig has changed since editor George Plimpton was alive, when it involved mostly slicing cheese cubes, pawing through unsolicited manuscripts and flashing a little leg!) “She graduated college and managed to find a job that doesn’t pay; we’re very proud of her.”
Also attending was esteemed author E. L. Doctorow, most recently of 2005’s The March. “Literary magazines publishing today are more glamorous than The Paris Review was when it began; they tend to come out of university communities,” he said, perhaps thinking of n+1, the creation of four Harvard classmates. “But we need every one of them.”
“The more the merrier,” gamely agreed The Review’s editor, Philip Gourevitch.
Oh my God—did our eyes deceive us? There was The Actors Studio host James Lipton! A past Review contributor, it turned out (he interviewed playwright Neil Simon for the magazine 15 years ago). “Literary magazines are being launched on a very turbulent scene today because people don’t read books very much,” he said. “I’m very conservative and I don’t like it.”
Don’t even get him started on the World Wide Web!
“Reading online is similar to people who watch a massive film on their iPhones—it’s an insult to the filmmakers,” Mr. Lipton said. “It’s an eternity of Cliffs Notes and Reader’s Digest,” he added, before being interrupted by a waiter who tried to remove a collection of various hors d’oeuvres arranged on a cocktail napkin next to him. “I’m eating those, don’t take those away!” the bearded broadcaster bellowed.