Daily Archives: September 17, 2012

* 1/2 The Receptionist by Janet Groth

The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker tells the story of a young woman who started as a receptionist at the New Yorker in 1957… and left, 20 years later, still working as the receptionist on the same floor where she started. The gossip, occasionally catty, must be fun for New Yorker fans. As an outsider, I found the memoir rather sad, as a naive young woman in the big city with naive dreams and aspirations is charmed, exploited, and tricked by more cynical characters. After tens years of intensive therapy (she seems to imply that the magazine paid for it in lieu of paying her properly), she finally realized her worth and decamped to more lucrative and intellectually rewarding settings. The many writers who had depended on her so completely must have missed her tremendously.

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