September 2001, New York City
A week later, I said to a friend: I don’t
think I could ever write about it.
Maybe in a year I could write something.
There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school. And in my dream
someone was playing jacks, and in the air there was a
huge, thrown, tilted jack
on fire. And when I woke up, I found myself
counting the days since I had last seen
my ex-husband—only a few years, and some weeks
and hours. We had signed the papers and come down to the
ground floor of the Chrysler Building,
the intact beauty of its lobby around us
like a king’s tomb, on the ceiling the little
painted plane, in the mural, flying. And it
entered my strictured heart, this morning,
slightly, shyly as if warily,
untamed, a greater sense of the sweetness
and plenty of his ongoing life,
unknown to me, unseen by me,
unheard by me, untouched by me,
but known by others, seen by others,
heard, touched. And it came to me,
for moments at a time, moment after moment,
to be glad for him that he is with the one
he feels was meant for him. And I thought of my
mother, minutes from her death, eighty-five
years from her birth, the almost warbler
bones of her shoulder under my hand, the
eggshell skull, as she lay in some peace
in the clean sheets, and I could tell her the best
of my poor, partial love, I could sing her
out, with it, I saw the luck
and the luxury of that hour.
“In the time it takes you to read this, I will have written another book and published two more. LOSER.”
“There is no office.”
The Executive Vice President, Director of Publicity and Media Relations for the Knopf Doubleday Group (@paulbogaards) is seeking a Publicity Assistant to provide day-to-day support in a fast-paced, internal/external facing, detail and data driven environment working with authors, agents, booksellers, legacy media professionals, and other half-crazed publishing desperados.
This position will support the EVP in the daily grind that is 21st century book publishing and corporate communications, including general admin (calendar management and scheduling with the first rule being nothing gets booked on Friday EVER), phone coverage (no calls should ever get through unless they are from Sheryl Sandberg), email and other written correspondence (making the EVP look smarter than he is), generating reports (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Bookscan, etc.), research (the EVP is on a constant hunt for information about golf courses), and interactions with press. The assistant will also have an opportunity to support high-profile authors (read: NEEDY) and their campaigns by writing press releases and pitch letters, creating other content (an author video!), assembling press kits, putting things in the mail, scheduling author tours, and rebooking hotels that the author deems unsatisfactory (“I had specifically requested 600 thread count sheets”).
The ideal candidate will possess exceptional diplomacy (“I’m sorry that we were not able to work with you on the exclusive but no one reads your fucking magazine”), writing (“Please please please book my author on your podcast before their editor accuses me of sabotaging another one of their P&L’s”), communication (WTF? AYKM?), and social media skills (must be proficient on all platforms because the EVP has been known to say things like “WE SHOULD PIN THIS ON SOMETHING”); be able to manage multiple tasks in a frequently stressful environment (“I have no idea why your book isn’t selling”); and be a stickler for detail. Previous experience providing administrative support in a corporate environment where your superior was frequently under investigation by the authorities helpful but not required. Absolutely no whiners. Knowledge of IPAs a plus.