Sunday, April 20, 2014

Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson's new novel is The Idea of Him.

From her Q & A with Hannah Seligson for The Daily Beast:

Is The Idea of Him a post-recession book?

Yes, I wanted to write about the post-crash New York and how the recession changed how people behave. I did not want to write, as I had in my last book, about the Park Avenue, NetJets crowd. I wanted to write about a totally different sector of New York, which is far more interesting in my mind: the meritocracy crowd. They are a distinct crowd that made it on their own. You can’t be a true part of the meritocracy crowd in Manhattan if you inherited Daddy’s company and drove it into the ground, even if you own a sports team.

Wade Crawford, a big player in your new book, is the fictional face of the meritocracy crowd because he pulled himself up by his bootstraps. But who is the real-life face of meritocracy crowd in this city?

These are people like Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Wasserstein, Diane von Furstenberg, and Barry Diller. Part of the meritocracy crowd is their inability to stop and never be satisfied with any level of success. It’s also the quest for power. I go to the Grill Room with my dad a lot for lunch and there are men there well into their 80s who are still doing huge deals. That phenomenon of never being satisfied with any level of success or money—it’s an intense, maniacal drive. I think they are fascinating. My father is 87 and he writes speeches in the dentist chair. The dentist can’t get to his teeth.

What did your father, who was secretary of Commerce under Nixon, think of the book?

He...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue