Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

This Week in HOH: Jay McInerney Considers This Town


Long before Mark Leibovich took this town to task in his book “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital,” another celebrated writer zeroed in on the power and the glory that float through the air in Washington.

In the Nov. 6, 1988, Heard on the Hill column, Bill Thomas chronicled the D.C. visit of Jay McInerney, the author of “Bright Lights, Big City” and a zeitgeist-catching scribe of the times.

“A Thousand Points of Light, Self-Important City. Hold onto your ennui everybody, authory/late 80s cult figure Jay McInerney may soon be coming to Washington to write a novel about moving and shaking. Here for a book party a week ago to celebrate his latest production, “The Story of My Life,” America’s most important under-30 novelist shared his thoughts with investigative interviewer Lisa McCormack of The Washington Times. ‘It’s such a copmany town,’ McInerney said of Cap City. ‘Everybody wants the same thing — power. It’s the currency. In New York there’s entertainment [and] media. It’s kind of nice that there are different games being played [in Washington]. It’s less monomaniacal.’ This sounds like an oeuvre already in progress.”

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We never got the second-person treatment (what “Bright Lights, Big City” is seemingly most famous for), nor the fun naughtiness that characterizes a lot of his work. McInerney for the most part has stuck to New York as the settings for his fiction.

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