Also last night, there was a book party for Meryl Gordon, author of the just-published The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: the Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark. The author is surrounded by her husband, journalist Walter Shapiro, and by the party’s hosts, Joyce Thornhill and her husband PBGC chief Josh Gotbaum. Meryl’s last book was Mrs. Astor Regrets. This is the biography of the daughter of the richest man in the world, who became a recluse who spent the last 20 years of her life in a hospital suite. The Corcoran was supposed to get the heiress’ art collection, but didn’t when it didn’t sell for a high enough price. Meryl’s been caught in the fight between Hachette and Amazon.com, which won’t quickly process orders for her hard copy book. At the book party, she announced that her next biography is on Bunny Mellon, whose grandson was also at the party.
Heather Mahoney contributed to this issue.