From ‘Acid’ to ‘Bonfire,’ an Archive That Sizzles

Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, May 20, 2014.


In March 1988, when Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” was parked at the top of the best-seller list, 962 Fifth Avenue was known to seemingly everyone as the gilded home of the mistress of Sherman McCoy, the book’s high-living investment banker protagonist.

Everyone, that is, except a woman lucky — or unlucky — enough to have just bought an apartment there.

“As a very private person who wishes to remain that way and who has no taste whatsoever for the kinds of flashy lifestyles which you describe,” the woman wrote in a letter to Mr. Wolfe, “I am embarrassed and ashamed when friends gleefully inform us that our new address is in your book and has become a rather notorious one.”

New York Times