The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983–1992
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $29.99 pb, 438 pp, 9781474608404
Tina Brown hit the ground partying in New York when she arrived in 1983 to revive the struggling Condé Nast magazine Vanity Fair. But an early diary entry shows the former Tatler editor was still a Londoner with residual Oxford snobbery.
Everyone at the party was so famous but unfortunately I had never heard of them. I said to Shirley MacLaine, ‘What do you do?’ She gave me a manic, hostile stare and went on talking to [investigative journalist] Ed Epstein about how he should research a book about flying saucers.
Brown’s naïveté did not last long. Her edited diaries of the eight years she spent as editor of Vanity Fair chronicle a brilliant professional and social ascent. The fourteen-page index is an A-list of names from Hollywood, publishing, the arts, fashion, business, and politics who crowded her life with their emaciated shoulders and bloated egos.