Orlean is currently in residence at the Saratoga Springs getaway, which has hosted all manner of American authors in its 90-year history. Mario Puzo even wrote part of The Godfather there, but faced with record temperatures the Orchid Thief author was made an offer she couldn’t refuse by Barnes & Noble: air conditioning and WiFi.
To say the mansion is without air conditioning would underplay the point. The air in the mansion, even in moderate heat, is almost sludgy; in the last few days, it has taken on the qualities of a solid. Most of the other Yaddo residents spent yesterday, the worst of the heat-wave days, at local bookstores and libraries, grateful for the chilled air and the free WiFi.
After dinner the writers headed to the local cineplex to beat the heat. They opted to see the Adam Sandler vehicle Grown Ups rather than suffer through the “vampire-virgin-love movie” Eclipse.