|Jonathan Lethen in his Writer's Room|
Photo by John Spinks
My friend knew I wouldn't be interested in the fashions but at the very end of the magazine there is a feature called "The Writer's Room". Now we are getting somewhere.
Five places where writers work are featured along with text by each one giving a bit of information about the room, the desk, the piles of papers, the art, or the history of the house.
Jonathan Lethem lives in a historic farmhouse that belonged to Maine writer Esther Wood whose grandfather built the house. His study contains a desk looking out over a field populated by deer and fox. He had the bookshelves built in and they look like they have always been there. Lethem is also co-owner of the used book shop Red Gap in Blue Hill, Maine. (I love his green canvas shoes.)
Julian Barnes writes at a custom-made desk in London. The room he has worked in for 30 years is Chinese yellow and overlooks the tops of two flowering trees. He still uses his I.B.M. electric typewriter and finds its hum to be encouraging. The room and desk are both very untidy.
Jhumpa Lahiri's room overlooking Rome is perhaps my favorite. It is very spare containing only an antique desk with deep drawers, a purple couch, a chandelier, and a lovely wooden herringbone floor. She moves out onto the terrace to watch the sun set. How great is that!
It is always fascinating to me to see where writers work and I was delighted to find that this feature is online here so I could share it with you. There is a sixth room in the online piece that is not featured in the magazine. Enjoy!