A woman was walking towards the elevator at Sotheby’s last night when she recognized the suited man beside her.
“When was the last time we saw each other?” she asked cheerfully as they rode upstairs. “Israel? Was it Israel?”
The circles of people populating the hall appeared to be in a state of constant rotation, re-introductions and long-awaited hellos passing between them as yarmulke-covered men danced from one embrace or handshake to another. “How did that happen?” one asked, pointing to an older woman’s cane. “I fell,” she replied.
Geoff Kloske, head of the publishing house that is putting out Mr. Levin’s book, said he wasn’t worried about the possibility that The Last Ember would get stomped at bookstores next month when Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, his sequel to mega-blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, finally comes out.
“This book was scheduled long before Dan Brown’s book,” Mr. Kloske said. “He did not scare us off. He may have scheduled his book around Danny’s!”
A little after 7 p.m., Lisa Dennison, the executive VP of Sotheby’s North America, introduced Mr. Levin to the crowd. “I became aware of Danny’s writing at his wedding, when he actually wrote a song in honor of his wife,” Ms. Dennison said, prepping Mr. Levin’s approach to the podium not unlike a Rabbi might do at a Bar Mitzvah.
Mr. Levin, who once was a clerk for the Israeli Supreme Court, and studied classics as an undergraduate, stood in front of his audience seemingly relaxed, and spoke very seriously about some things. “Archaeology really is politics,” he said, “and history is much more fragile than we think.”
Afterwards Mr. Levin stepped aside amid applause to hug his parents, their pride visible as their Danny’s anointment into authorhood in the temple of Sotheby’s became official.