Jay McInerney


Jay McInerney

John Barrett McInerney Jr. (born January 13, 1955 in Hartford, Connecticut) (pronEng|ˈmækənɝni) is an American writer. His novels include "Bright Lights, Big City", "Ransom", "Story of My Life", "Brightness Falls", and "The Last of the Savages". He edited "The Penguin Book of New American Voices", wrote the screenplay for the 1988 film adaptation of "Bright Lights, Big City", and co-wrote the screenplay for the television film "Gia", which starred Angelina Jolie. He is the wine columnist for "House & Garden" magazine, and his essays on wine have been collected in "Bacchus & Me" (2000) and "A Hedonist in the Cellar" (2006). His most recent novel is titled "The Good Life", published in 2006.

Life and work

McInerney studied writing with Raymond Carver and once worked as a fact-checker at "The New Yorker". He achieved fame with his first published novel "Bright Lights, Big City". Published in 1984, the novel was unique at the time for its depiction of cocaine culture in second-person narrative. The title is taken from a 1961 blues song by Jimmy Reed. The novel established McInerney’s reputation as part of a new generation of writers. Labelled the ‘literary brat pack' in a 1987 article in the "Village Voice", McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz were presented as the new face of literature: young, iconoclastic and fresh. [In the September/October 2005 issue of "Pages" magazine, the literary brat pack was identified retrospectively as Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz, and McInerney. Other authors associated with the Brat Pack included Donna Tartt, Susan Minot, Peter Farrelly, Mark Lindquist, Peter J. Smith, and Mary Robison.] Five novels followed in rapid succession: "Ransom", "Story of My Life", "Brightness Falls", "The Last of the Savages" and "Model Behavior".

After the success of "Bright Lights, Big City", publishers started looking for similar works about young people in urban settings. Ellis's "Less Than Zero", published in 1985, was promoted as following McInerney’s example. McInerney, Ellis and Janowitz were based in New York City and their lives there were regular literary themes, chronicled by New York media.

Ellis used McInerney's character, Alison Poole ("Story of My Life"), in his novels "American Psycho" and "Glamorama". McInerney revealed that the character of Alison Poole is based upon his former girlfriend, Rielle Hunter, then known as Lisa Druck. He described the character as "cocaine addled," and "sexually voracious" but also treated her with some sympathy. McInerney's roman a clef opened a prescient glimpse into the notorious horse murders scandal, which did not become known to the public until 1992, when Sports Illustrated magazine published a confession from the man who had murdered Lisa Druck's horse at her father's behest, in order to claim the insurance on its life.cite news | title = Blood Money: In the rich, clubby world of horsemen, some greedy owners have hired killers to murder their animals for the insurance payoffs | author = William Nack and Lester Munson | date = 1992-11-16 | work = Sports Illustrated | url = http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004483/1/index.htm | accessdate = 2008-08-11] Hunter, who has remained in contact with McInerney as friend, was linked in 2007 with former Presidential candidate John Edwards, through an extramarital affair Edwards acknowledged in 2008.

McInerney also has a cameo role in Ellis's "Lunar Park", attending the Halloween party Bret hosts at his house. It was later revealed that McInerney was not pleased with his representation in the novel. [cite web | url = http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/birnbaum_v/bret_easton_ellis.php | title = Birnbaum v. Bret Easton Ellis | publisher = themorningnews.org | work = The Morning News | date = 2006-01-19 | accessdate = 2007-02-25]

Throughout his career McInerney has struggled against the strong, almost indelible, image of himself as both the author and protagonist of "Bright Lights, Big City."

Personal life

His first wife was Linda Rossiter, a half-Japanese fashion model, and his second wife was writer Merry Reymond; for four years he lived with fashion model Marla Hanson [ [http://www.jaymcinerney.com/sunstyles.html] ] [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,6000,366487,00.html Interview: Jay McInerney | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books ] ] He has twins (Maisie and John Barrett McInerney 3rd, born in 1994 with his former third wife, jewelry designer and writer Helen Bransford. On 21 November 2006, McInerney eloped with his fiancée, publishing heiress Anne Hearst. [ [http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/476221p-400608c.html Celebrity Scandals and Gossip - NY Daily News ] ]

Quote

"There's always been a personal element to my critical reception as a writer; people say that I'm too much of a public figure. My relationship with the press is an odd hall of mirrors." [ [http://www.beatrice.com/interviews/mcinerney The BEATRICE Interview: 1996 ] ]

Bibliography

Fiction

*"Bright Lights, Big City" (1984)
*"Ransom" (1985)
*"Story of My Life" (1988)
*"Brightness Falls" (1992)
*"The Last of the Savages" (1997)
*"Model Behavior" (1998)
*"How It Ended" (2001)
*"The Good Life" (2006)

Nonfiction

*"" (2000)
*"" (2006)

Films

*"Bright Lights, Big City" was made into a film in 1988, directed by James Bridges and starring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, and Phoebe Cates. McInerney wrote the screenplay.

References

External links

* [http://www.jaymcinerney.com/ Author's homepage]
*imdb name|0570557|Jay McInerney
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,6000,366487,00.html Interview with "Guardian" (UK) from 2000]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.