The book party for Amy Sohn‘s new novel Prospect Park West (Simon & Schuster), held on the evening of Wednesday, September 16th, was not a place for children. Although the novel narrates the lives of four Park Slope women with dysfunctions galore and young children with names like Orion, Mance, and Darby, the Ochre Store on Broome Street may be the least baby-proof shop in Manhattan. The massive chandeliers, $4,000 tables, and and collection of wooden and ceramic goods looked as if they might crumble into dust at the faintest touch of a toddler.
The event was co-hosted by Alexandra Posen, the sister of designer Zac Posen and a Carroll Gardens mother of two, and Liz Lange, the maternity-wear mogul (both, like Ms. Sohn, alumna of Brown). Wearing a form-fitting purple Missoni dress and red patent-leather Chanel sandals, the author read an excerpt from PPW, name-checking The Observer and eliciting self-conscious but appreciative laughs as she rattled off parenting techniques with which the partygoers seemed all too familiar.
Ms. Posen, dressed in a tight black Zac Posen dress and metal-studded Alaia heels, was quick to acknowledge the absurdity that is current brownstone Brooklyn. “It’s pretty ridiculous,” she said. “At any given moment there can be like seven red Phil & Ted strollers on the street at the same time.” Ms. Posen, a native New Yorker, puzzled over what life is like with children elsewhere. “In Brooklyn you can structure your time by going from park to park,” she said.“‘It gives you a pathway through the day and I was thinking, ‘What the hell do you do when you’re in the middle of the country? Is there any structure?’”
Later, Ms. Sohn reclined with the Transom on a leather banquette and talked stereotypes. Is gentrified Brooklyn boring? “I think Brooklyn is still popping,” she said. “I’ve never bought the ‘Brooklyn is the suburbs’ thing,” she said. “The joys of urban living cannot be compared. I’ve been to Montclair—nobody walks!”
In Prospect Park West, Ms. Sohn offers what she called “a social satire” of her neighborhood that has struck some as mean-spirited. Is she concerned about nasty looks from other moms along the Seventh Avenue shopping district?
“I wouldn’t say I’m afraid because everyone knows that mothers would always rather talk about people behind their back instead of to their face,” Ms. Sohn said. “So I haven’t bought wraparound sunglasses.”