IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

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Tara Boyle and Kojo Nnamdi with me at WAMU

My good friends at The Washington Monthly teamed up with the lovely folks at Borders on 14th Street to hold a reading for me on Tuesday. We had a terrific turnout, and I was delighted to meet so many people whose names I knew from mastheads and emails, but whom I had never met face to face. Visiting DC also afforded me the opportunity to appear on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU Radio, which, judging by comments I heard the rest of the day, everybody but everybody listens to. Thanks to Paul and Kukula Glastris at the Monthly, Daniel Fromme at Borders, and Kojo Nnamdi and Tara Boyle at WAMU for a really wonderful visit.

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Paul Glastris, Kukula Glastis, me, and Eva Qureini from
The Washington Monthly
.

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Daniel Fromme gives me a boost.

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Political writer Jacob Heilbrun and James Rosen of Fox News

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Two former Playboy stalwarts, Cynthia Grenier and
Peter Range, came by to cheer me on.

HUMILIATING? HOPEFULLY. . .

Earlier this summer, my friend Larry Doyle published his first novel, called I Love You, Beth Cooper. It’s about a geeky high school student who uses the forum of the valedictory address during graduation to announce his love for the most beautiful, popular girl in the school. Hilarity, of course, ensues.

Larry has had the bright idea to go on from this to become the Rupert Murdoch of high school embarrassments, and is attempting to corner the market on all tales of youthful humiliation. He asked a number of his pals to contribute their tales of high school embarrassment, and surprisingly, a number contributed. Including me.

You can read my tale, and those of the other writers, at iloveyoubethcooper.com. The writer who is deemed to have charted best on a scale of Abject Humiliation and Literary Merit is going to win an iPod.

MORE PARTY PIX!

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Investigative reporter John Connolly and his friend
Dorothy Caravello, radio hostLisa Birnbach, and me

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Playboy‘s Conor Hogan and Maria Malanowski

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My ex-Spy mate George Kalogerakis, now of the Times

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Larry Doyle, author of I Love You, Beth Cooper, with me
and Playboy editor Chip Rowe

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Writer Daniel Radosh, and Playboy editors Scott Alexander
and Steve Randall

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Bunnies Sandra Hubby and Stephanie Heinrich and me

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My hosts, Chris Napolitano and Christie Hefner of Playboy,
with me and Jim Kelly, Managing Editor of Time Inc.

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Colleagues from Playboy: Josh Robertson, Rocky Rakovic,
Matt DeMazza
, me, Vivian Colon, Matt Stiegbegel

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Playboy’s Jennifer Ryan Jones, photographer Harry Benson,
Chris Napolitano, and Playboy‘s Joseph DeAcetis

IT’S MY PARTY, AND I’LL SMILE IF I WANT TO

Amy Loyd, me, Joanne Gruber, and my editor Gerry Howard

July 16

My friends at Playboy threw an awesome party for me at Elaine’s tonight. It was just the best time, and I was happy to see so many old friends and colleagues, people who have given me so much help and opportunity and encouragement over the years. Thanks to Christie Hefner and Chris Napolitano from Playboy, who hosted the party, and Amy Loyd, my agent David McCormick and Gerry Howard from Doubleday who helped turn The Coup into an actual book. A once-in-a-lifetime night! (Pictured: Amy, me, editor Joanne Gruber, and Gerry.)

LUCKY FRIDAY THE 13th

In The Wall Street Journal today (Friday the 13th), my new favorite writer Kyle Smith gave The Coup what can only be called a rave review. “The Coup,” writes Smith, film critic of The New York Post, “out-Buckleys Christopher Buckley with its foul-mouthed honchos, twisted strivers and snaky reporters, all of them slightly less deserving of respect than their counterparts in real life (or so one hopes).” After a synopsis of the plot and main characters, Smith continues “The one-man coup is so fiendishly plausible that explaining it would give away the central pleasure of Mr. Malanowski’s fast-paced and entertaining fable. But even if The Coup didn’t offer such machine-tooled plotting, it would be a delight for its punchy dialogue and such cheerfully sordid characters.”

Wow! I’m woozy. Thanks, Kyle. To read the review in its entirity, click here.

APPLAUSE FROM THE OBSERVER

JULY 11

Received a thoughtful review in The New York Observer on July 11. Under the delightful headline `A Romp Through the D.C. Underbrush’, Ana Marie Cox–who could cure cancer and open the first discoteque on the moon and still be forever known as the woman who used write Wonkette–writes “Jamie Malanowski’s debut novel [*] about a palace coup in the White House has some sizable flaws, but for all the preposterousness of the plot . . . The Coup still manages to excavate an ugly and hilarious truth about Washington: For a city of egotists and nation-builders, we’re far too easily, absurdly, tragically pleased.” Luckily, prepsterousness isn’t a fatal flaw in Cox’s mind. You can read the whole thing here, but trust us: you could stop at “A Romp Through the D.C. Underbrush” and still lead a fulfilling life.

[*] For what it’s worth, my debut novel was and always shall be Mr. Stupid Goes to Washington (Birch Lane, 1992).