Thursday, February 19, 2009
About a year ago, I subscribed to Elle. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because at some point in the last two years the magazine ran a profile of Madonna by Daphne Merkin that was one of the best ever, but that's neither here nor there. I can't say it's close to my favorite mag-read (where are you now Domino?), but every so often I stumble on something I'm really happy to know about and last night was one of those times. In it, there was a review of a book by Mary Elizabeth Williams called Gimme Shelter. The book tells of her quest to find an apartment her family could afford when no one in her family worked on Wall Street in 2006. Not only does the title stir up the sound-memory of churning guitar and Mick Jagger oohing -- in a good way; not only is the subject one that obsesses me and almost everyone I know; but Mary Elizabeth Williams is a terrific writer and even though I've yet to read the book, I'm quite sure when I do it will be smart and funny and there will be nicely framed vignettes and perfect little moments that will illustrate the emotional toll and cultural place of househunting. How do I know all this about a book I've yet to read? Because back in the day, when Netscape was the big Internet IPO and Madonna didn't have an English accent I worked as an editor at a web site. There, I was lucky enough to work with a terrific group of writers including Melissa Clark, Marjorie Ingall, and thanks to Marjorie, Mary Elizabeth Williams. I always loved what she wrote, and not only that, when I was interviewing people for my pregnancy book, she gave me a priceless quote about her need to cook a pork butt bigger than her baby the night before she went into labor. I'm still grateful for that one. All this to say, now that Top Chef is almost over, we'll all have time to check out Gimme Shelter. Enjoy!