Last night, Brooke Geahan, the founder of the Accompanied Literary Society, who has been living in London for the past year and not hosting her usual literary gatherings, organized a book party for Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, Super Sad True Love Story, at her home downtown.
“It’s stressful having people at your house,” said Ms. Geahan. She was dressed in blue leggings printed with star constellations (which, she explained, were inspired by the “Onionskin jeans” in the novel), a tank top and very tall shoes. What if the bathroom were to overflow with toilet paper or something, she wondered.
Ms. Geahan spent her time in London working on a novel of her own, which she said is almost halfway finished. She was glad to be back. Her backyard was full of young, attractive people. Inside, Mr. Shteyngart was sitting on the couch with Francine Prose and Mary Gaitskill.
“Gary invited me to his reading at Barnes & Noble tonight and I said, ‘And what’s after?’” said Ms. Geahan, who proposed having a few people over to her place.
Salman Rushdie came over and lightly touched Mr. Geahan’s elbow. “I need to do a little disappearance act,” he said. Ms. Geahan walked him out.
The hostess’ apartment is a spacious loft-like space on the ground floor of an old building at the intersection of Crosby and Broome Streets. There was a record collection, a large antique mirror made into a coffee table, a zebra-printed dish, a thrift store ashtray that came into use, young bartenders found on the internet, and many copies of Mr. Shteyngart’s book, leaned strategically on shelves and side tables. Near the book shelf, there was an old photograph of George Plimpton with New York Review of Books editor Bob Silvers. The Daily Transom inquired about its origins.
“I stole it from the Paris Review!” said Ms. Geahan. She told a story about how when she first came to New York and told Mr. Plimpton she planned to start a library, the editor invited her to pick out a book off of his shelves. She took the photograph instead, though technically without his permission.
A young man with curly black hair and glasses interrupted. “Hey, what’s the story of this apartment?” he asked. “You look like someone who knows.”
“It’s my apartment!” Ms. Geahan replied. She shook hands with the young man and his girlfriend and then noticed Jay McInerney wandering through with an empty glass. “Excuse me. I’m going to go take care of Jay.”
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