Rob's Reviews > The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker

The Receptionist by Janet Groth
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's review
Sep 03, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012

I'm fond of The New Yorker, and enjoy reading work by and about some of the "classic" writers the magazine has featured in its nearly 90 years of publication. Janet Groth knew a good many of those writers, and, in her 20-year role as receptionist on the 18th floor of The New Yorker's offices ("the writer's floor"), she heard all their gossip and kept a good number of their secrets in her confidence. The first chapters of The Receptionist contain more than a little name-dropping, and they are the weakest of the book. When Groth opens up and tells the story of her emotional, sexual, and intellectual coming of age, though, her story takes flight, and the truths she discovers are all the richer because they are shared by so many.
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