Brrright Lights! Socialites Shiver at McInerney’s Montauk Book Bash

On Saturday, June 6, the Accompanied Literary Society hosted a party for Jay McInerney’s new short-story collection, How It Ended, in the foggy cold of the recently reopened Montauk Yacht Club.

The actress Claire Danes ran across the green lawn, shopping bags in hand, before she came back out and joined the crowd, wearing a white blazer and white pants.

Hugh Dancy, Ms. Danes’ fiancé, looked around for his dog, frolicking somewhere on the property. “I’m reading a story from the book tonight, and I haven’t decided yet which one to read. I should probably get on that!” he said. Mr. Dancy added that this was his first visit to Montauk. “We came out on a helicopter, but it was so cloudy I never really saw anything.”

Socialite and Vogue editor Lauren Santo Domingo strolled in smoking a cigarette, on the hunt for Red Bull. Ms. Santo Domingo said that in sixth grade, she did a book report on Mr. McInerney’s smash debut novel, Bright Lights, Big City. “I love his short stories, but it always leaves me wanting more,” she said. “I look forward to him writing the next best American novel.”

Mr. McInerney’s stepdaughter, Amanda Hearst, was standing by one of the heaters, wearing a light sweater. “It’s chilly!” she said. “I prefer our place”—in Watermill—“because we live on a farm. It’s much more isolated here.” Ms. Hearst said that she’d also read Bright Lights, Big City in high school.

The author himself sat attentively as Mr. Dancy and Ms. Danes read aloud from his work.

“The Hamptons is just an outpost of New York,” he said. “Montauk was supposed to be this sort of getaway for the rich and famous in the 1920s, and then in 1929, the stock market crash came along and everything collapsed. So Montauk never became what it was supposed to be, but still, Andy Warhol lived out here, and Peter Beard, and the Rolling Stones; Paul Simon lives out here. “

Mr. McInerney sipped from his drink. “Champagne is the elixir of life,” he said.

The author was putting up Brazilian jewelry heir Luigi Tadini, a good friend of Ms. Hearst, at his home for the weekend. “I’m a big fan of Jay,” Mr. Tadini said. “He’s always holding up a mirror to life in New York, and all the complexities of living in a city like New York. I’m very excited to read the new book. I haven’t read it yet.”

Guests were slowly starting to adjust to the cold.

Publicist Andrew Saffir was holding a blueberry lemonade. “It sounds like a girl drink, right?” he said. Mr. Saffir, who has a house in East Hampton, shared a few thoughts on Montauk. “People come out here and really never leave their houses. This is so not a Montauky party. It’s a universal Hamptons party. Montauk people wouldn’t be dressed like this. They’re literally in flip-flops 24 hours a day, and sort of board shorts. That sounds sort of stereotypical, but it’s what I think of Montauk people. “

In the background, the Beach Boys were playing, and guests were starting to summon Town Cars to take them to an after-party at the Surf Lodge. Ms. Danes, apparently feeling nature’s call, climbed over a couch and proceeded into the bathroom.

“I didn’t know you had to have a lead acting role to cut the entire line,” sniffed one young woman who’d been waiting.


Brrright Lights! Socialites Shiver at McInerney’s Montauk Book Bash