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Events on LibraryThing Local

John Berendt has 3 media appearances.

Aug
28
John Berendt
Booknotes, Thursday, August 28, 1997
John Berendt discusses Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

In this balmy hothouse of eccentrics and characters, John Berendt is as prominent as a live oak, a celebrated muse of the South often pointed out by tour guides as they inch by the best-selling author in horse-drawn carriages and air-conditioned minibuses. Tourists wave. Mr. Berendt smiles. And the buses and canopied carriages drift languidly away, like jasmine blossoms or sand gnats- depending on the local view of the enduring popularity of Mr. Berendt's book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, published by Random House almost three years ago. The Savannah shorthand for Mr. Berendt's first literary effort is simply "The Book." It is a story of an actual murder that is almost incidental to its spicy gumbo of real characters who are stirred together, in some instances, in fictional scenes invented by the author. The cast includes a gentleman-bachelor, an antiques dealer with a bisexual lover and a pristine collection of Nazi memorabillia; a tarttongued black drag queen who calls herself The Lady Chablis; the gloved members of the exclusive Married Woman's Card Club, and the author himself, transplanted temporarily from the Upper West Side to Savannah's gossipy historic quarter. Mr. Berendt, whose manuscript was once scorned by a prominent New York agent as too regional, has sold more than 1.25 million copies of "The Book" and made him $4 million richer. Hardcover sales have been so steady over the last three years that Random House executives sometimes joke about issuing a paperback version in 2002. And the book's popularity shows no sign of waning. It has increased Savannah's tourism, spawned a cottage industry of memorabilia and inspired an autobiography by The Lady Chablis. Then there are the "midnight" Key lime cookies and, of course, the movie, now being filmed in Savannah. Clint Eastwood is reciting, and Kevin Spacey stars as the antiques dealer, John Cusack as Mr. Berendt and The Lady Chablis as herself. Still no one, least of all the puzzled author, can fully explain why "The Book" is still selling like pecan pies. "It's sort of battling to me," Mr. Berendt said. "But what I'm told is that there is a word of mouth phenomenon. It's nothing that I'm doing." But despite his modesty, Mr. Berendt has been known to sign as many as 29 books a minute. On one rainy morning in late April at a Books-a-Million store in a Savannah strip mall he bolted out of a car without waiting for the driver to find a parking space so that be could Increase his signature output. Since its publication, Midnight has burrowed into the middle ranks of the New York Times best-seller list On Sunday, it will be ranked No. 12, marking its 149th week in the nonfiction category. —from the publisher's website (timspalding)… (more)
Nov
11
A conversation with author John Berendt
Charlie Rose, Friday, November 11, 2005
John Berendt

A conversation with former editor of (timspalding)

John Berendt has 5 past events. (show)

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