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Extended Audio Sample The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker, by Janet Groth Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janet Groth Narrator: Susanna Burne Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Thanks to a successful interview with the painfully shy E.B. White, a beautiful, nineteen 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 eighteenth 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An evocative memoir.”


  • “Groth’s collected the sort of gossipy anecdotes that would have you hanging on her every word at a literary cocktail party.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A literate, revelatory examination of self.”

    Boston Globe

  • “This is not a juicy tell-all—Groth remained an outsider as much as she was an insider at the magazine throughout her tenure, and legendary editor William Shawn stays a shadowy figure on the floor above throughout the book. Instead, she paints a picture of a naive Midwesterner with a mane of thick blond hair coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s, experiencing the era’s turbulent politics and sexual revolution, all from behind the receptionist desk.”

    Associated Press

  • “Revelatory…Deeply reflective…Groth chronicles the many dazzling personalities whose lives touched, and moved, hers.”

    Publishers Weekly

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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.

About the Narrator

Susanna Burney has appeared in a wide range of plays on stages in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Her favorite roles include Hamlet, Olga in Three Sisters, Mrs. Wilcox in a stage adaptation of Howard’s End, and as the solo performer in Man to Man, for which she was named best actress of the year in the Seattle weekly, the Stranger. She received her BFA in acting from Boston University.