The Receptionist

The Receptionist Cover

The Receptionist

An Education at the New Yorker

By Janet Groth; Judith West (Read by)

Highbridge Company, Compact Disc, 9781611747812, 495pp.

Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Thanks to a successful interview with the painfully shy E.B. White, a beautiful, 19-year-old, blue-eyed blonde from the cornfields of Iowa lands a job as a receptionist at "The New Yorker" magazine. There she stays two decades, becoming general all-around factotum watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the eccentric inhabitants of the 18th floor. Though she dreamed of becoming a writer, she never advanced at the magazine. This memoir of a particular time and place is as much about why that was so as it is about Groth's fascinating relationships with John Berryman, Joseph Mitchell, Muriel Spark, as well as E.J. Kahn, Calvin Trillin, Renata Adler, Peter DeVries, Charles Addams, and many other "New Yorker" contributors and bohemian denizens of Greenwich Village in its heyday. Eventually, Groth would have to leave "The New Yorker" in order to find herself.

About the Author
Janet Groth, Emeritus Professor of English at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, has also taught at Vassar, Brooklyn College, the University of Cincinnati, and Columbia. She was a Fulbright lecturer in Norway and a visiting fellow at Yale and is the author of "Edmund Wilson: A Critic for Our Time" (for which she won the NEMLA Book Award) and coauthor of "Critic in Love: A Romantic Biography of Edmund Wilson". She lives in New York City.

JUDITH WEST has amused, informed, thrilled, and otherwise entertained via stage and studio for more than 20 years. A narrator, director, and writer for audiobooks since 1999, she also coaches narrators and has taught performance and directed at leading Chicago universities, and has extensive experience in print publishing as a writer, editor, and researcher. Judith lives with her rescued cats in a vintage Chicago bungalow off Devon Avenue, the nation s most ethnically diverse street. Fittingly, she counts ethnic cooking, travel, and antiques among her pleasures.