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Dilettante: True Tales of Excess, Triumph, and Disaster


Dan Brown Libri


A witty, insightful, and delightfully snarky blend of pop culture meets memoir meets real-life Devil Wears Prada as readers learn the stories behind twenty-five years at Vanity Fair from the magazine?s former deputy editor Dana Brown was a twenty-one-year-old college dropout playing in punk bands and partying his way through downtown New York?s early ?90s milieu when he first encountered Graydon Carter, the legendary editor of Vanity Fair, while bartending at Carter?s favorite power-lunch haunt, Forty Four. After the two had a handful of brief interactions (mostly with Brown in the role of cater-waiter at Carter?s famous cultural salons he hosted at his home), Carter saw Brown's untapped potential and, on a whim, offered him the position of his number two assistant. An unpredictable wild child with no sparkling resum or social pedigree typical of a Cond Nast hire, Brown, against all odds, rose up the ranks to eventually become the magazine?s deputy editor, spending a quarter century as a culture curator at one of the most storied cultural shops ever assembled. Now, in Dilettante, Brown reveals some of his most memorable moments from the halcyon days of the magazine business. In addition to exploring his own journey as an unpedigreed outsider to trusted confidante and established editor, Brown offers a rarely seen portrait of Graydon Carter as mentor and operator, along with glimpses of some of the famous and infamous stories (and people) that tracked Carter's extraordinary run. From inside the famed Vanity Fair Oscar Party to film festivals and the emerging world of the tech elite, Brown's job offered him access to some of the most exclusive gatherings and powerful people in the world, and the chance to learn in real time what exactly a magazine editor does?all while trying to stay sober enough from the required party scene attendance to get the job done. He recounts tales from the trenches, including memorable encounters with Anna Wintour, Lee Radziwill, Donald Trump, Cond Nast owner Si Newhouse, and journalist Christopher Hitchens, to the behind-the-scenes story of assembling one of the most famous magazine covers ever, with Caitlyn Jenner. Written with equal parts affection, cultural exploration, and nostalgia, Dilettante offers a universal coming-of-age story about growing up and finding your place in the world.
 
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