At Guild Hall, when Florence Fabricant asked CNN's Anthony Bourdain at a recent Q&A, which country was most surprising, he quickly answered Iran. Most Americans have not been there, and I seized a moment of opportunity. Now, he said ruefully, would not be the time. This celebrity food maven sniffs out countries of smelly dysfunction over orderly functionality. And Iran surprised him with a people that had the attitude, Are you American? We don't care what the government is doing; welcome, we want to know you. In a Teheran restaurant where they put flags on diners' tables, they apologized - sorry, all our American flags were burnt. Congo, he said was perhaps the most dangerous, run amok with warlords and militias. You don't want to mess around. One minute you are fine, and the next everyone is glaring at you for being CIA. Known for his culinary adventures to these exotic locales, when he's back in the states, Bourdain says he loves best a bite at the deli; the flipping of burgers in his Hamptons backyard fills him with bliss.
The literary crowd was not sure the tents for Author's Night, to benefit the East Hampton library, were big enough to accommodate both Bill O'Reilly and Alec Baldwin. With over a hundred writers seated with piles of books in front of them, the event's co-founder Baldwin chatted with best selling author Nelson DeMille. Lee Grant's book about her blacklisted years, and eventual Oscar, I Said Yes to Everything, was one of the event's big hits. Barbara Goldsmith marveled that when she founded the yearly book extravaganza, maybe a few locals attended. Now stretched out in a big field, the event attracts so many, the cars are backed up for parking. Although the authors are seated alphabetically--so that Martha Rogers did not sit with husband Dick Cavett--Ina Caro did not sit alongside her husband Robert Caro. How does it work to live with another writer? "When we work, we leave," she quipped.
Dr. Bonnie Jacobson had piles of her useful self-help guides through loneliness and connection. Joe Pintauro encouraged a fan to buy a copy of his play Men's Lives based on the book by Peter Matthiessen, "It's only $10." Another book, of his photography, goes for $3000. Needless to say, the publishers did not send that one. Suzanne Corso, author of The Suite Life posed for a photo with Jennifer Esposito, one writer, along with Giada De Laurentiis and Thomas Maier who were feted at the Hamptons Magazine dinner at Michael Braverman's. Maier, the author of the book Masters of Sex, on which the current hot Showtime series was based, originally hoped for a two-hour movie, and had to be convinced to sign on to the series for television. Maier revealed that the original actor to play Masters had no chemistry with Lizzy Kaplan's Virginia Johnson, and John Madden flew to London to give the script to Michael Sheen, who was then performing in Hamlet. From the cerebral to the sublime.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.
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