“Twenty-one year flat-line” was the way that Janet Groth, receptionist at the New Yorker from 1957-1978 described her aforementioned career last night at the reading of her memoir The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker at Greenlight Bookstore.
Ms. Groth recounted a time of William Shawn, E.B. White and Joseph Mitchell with a slightly nostalgic but none too romanticized air. She recalled telling the man who first interviewed her for the position that she wanted to write. “Can you type?” was his response. Not professionally, she told him. He reviewed her resume and inquired about a short story prize she had won while in college. “Did you type that?”