Hi there! I’m Marlena, the publicist for Reagan Arthur Books.  I’ll be writing here with some regularity going forward, so I’m sure you’ll be tired of me soon enough.

When you have a job that people outside of the industry quite literally don’t know even exists (“Authors have publicists?? Huh. Who knew?”), you spend a lot of your social time trying to explain things that, as it turns out, are really boring unless you’re the one doing them.  I can see your eyes glaze over at the words “galley” and “long lead,” people!  I’m not blind, just blindingly boring.  Having learned my lesson, I now, when explaining what I do, try to focus on the perks of my job—things like going to fancy restaurants and parties with extraordinarily talented, smart, and, often, very funny people.  With that in mind, allow me to explain what I did last night.  Because it was kind of weird, man. 

The New Yorker threw a book reading party for two of their “20 under 40” writers, the lovely and talented Karen Russell and our own beloved Joshua Ferris.  It was terrific and they both did a really great job (Josh read “The Dinner Party”, the first piece he published in The New Yorker, and Karen read “The Dredgeman’s Revelation”).  It was a very nice event.  A very nice event that took place in a very unusual place.  

It was at the Showtime House, a temporary exhibit at the Cassa Hotel in midtown.  Each room was decorated based on a show that the channel airs—the Showtime rooms snake up a few floors, ending at a gorgeous terrace.  I don’t have cable, not because I’m pretentiously against the idea, but because I’m cheap in a “use the teabag three times” sort of way, so I’ve never seen a Showtime show.   I’ve heard very good things!  And their transit ads are money well spent because I actually knew what most of the shows were about, based only on my commute to and fro my enigmatic job.

For example, I know that “The United States of Tara” is about a lady with multiple personalities.  But did you know it’s also about box graters?

“Californication,” like my two-year-old nephew, is obsessed with the letters of the alphabet:

“Weeds” has what I think design books call a “country chic” look:

And in “Nurse Jackie’s” world, using the facilities is a religious experience:

All in all, a pretty awesome night. So! THAT is what I do for a living.

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