Our featured celebrity is the man who made history with his non-fiction masterpiece, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. While best known for his literary blockbuster, the non-fiction Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt began his career as a classic New York City journalist.
At Harvard he worked on the staff of the famed Harvard Lampoon. After graduating he joined the staff of Esquire, where he was an associate editor from 1961 to 1969. Berendt was the editor of New York Magazine from 1977 to 1979 and a columnist for Esquire from 1982 to 1994.
Published in 1994, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil achieved unprecedented success. The real life tale of a murder amidst the high society and high camp of elegant Savannah, Georgia spent 216 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In case you’re not good at math. that means over four years. Like a friend of ours from Brooklyn used to say, “Jesus H. Christ, that’s incredible.” It was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Berendt’s passion for detail and beautiful writing is evidenced in his recent work, City of Falling Angels, which chronicles the real life characters and history of Venice after the fire destroyed the city’s famous Opera House.
If you took the average Manhattanite and inspected their refrigerator you’d find nothing more than a bottle of vodka, a quart of orange juice, a couple of bottles of Amstel, or maybe Heineken and a crusty remnant of dried up Brie.
Yet, unlike many New Yorkers John actually eats food he makes at home. Though, he admitted, it’s mostly breakfast and lunch. Dinner is usually eaten at restaurants or take out delivered, classic New York City style.
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Editor’s Note: This was first published in 2008 and updated in December 2012.