This is surely the week of Dana Vachon, whose combination of blogging and banking experience plus eye popping book deal is now bearing fruit with the release of his debut, MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS, touted as the next heir apparent to Jay McInerney‘s BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY. The New York Times tracked him as he went out clubbing and also incorporated M&A into a trend piece about Wall Street books. New York Magazine had its own profile of the former J.P. Morgan banker. Now it’s the New York Observer‘s turn, as Lizzy Ratner sits down with the author while he eats a “goddamn good breakfast” in Balthazar.
Explaining how the thinly-vield roman a clef came to be, Vachon said “I felt like I was living with a bunch of people who had wrongly identified themselves as a post-9/11 generation. And I felt like I they were one of the most gilded and privileged groups to ever land into anything, that nobility no longer obliged but sort of entitled. I wanted to set down a portrait of this generation. Period,” he continued. “What’s the great Flaubertian quote? ‘All it takes for a member of the bourgeoisie to be happy is good health, selfishness, and stupidity, but the first two will get you nowhere if you don’t have the third?’” he said, slightly misquoting the author. “I love that.”
The question is how Vachon and his novel – Riverhead‘s “lead fiction title” for the moment according to his editor, Geoff Kloske – will be received. All the usual launch parties and off-the-book features apply, but the feature’s slightly sniffy tone about the book seems to indicate [his] skepticism that Vachon even has another novel in him. But Vachon makes it clear he’s got a tangible idea for book number two: “It’s a book about space tourism, Westchester County, instant unwanted fame and, um, the possibility of a new beginning, maybe? Of renewal? I mean, I feel the book I just wrote is so much about cities built on cities built on cities, and this one is not.”
Although if for whatever reason, Vachon decides not to write books anymore, he can always sing*:
*That’s Vachon singing “Perfect Gentleman” with Wyclef Jean at the Audi Forum in New York City on December 5, 2006.