Amongst Friends: New York’s Chic Set Toast Author Michael Hainey

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“This book has brought friends back together.” So said GQ deputy editor and author Michael Hainey, who last night celebrated the publication of his New York Times best seller After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story at the stately Fifth Avenue home of Michael Bassett and world-renowned interior designer Darren Henault. Indeed, the fete brought out a bevy of New York staples of the fashion, design, finance and philanthropic worlds including Nate Berkus, Debbie Bancroft, Patricia Duff, Fern Mallis, Dana Auslander, Dr. Lisa Airan, Thom Browne, Richard Farley, Dini von Mueffling, and Adelina Wong Ettelson.

A memoir true to his journalistic roots, the book investigates the mysterious death of Hainey’s father—a Chicago native—at age 35 from an apparent heart attack. According to one of the obits, he had passed away “while visiting friends.” But the spectre of his father’s death continued to resonate with Hainey, who—once he passed the age of 35—mustered the courage to explore the secrets and the questions of the event that had essentially defined his life.

Henault, a friend of Michael’s since 1989, when the burgeoning journalist was working at Spy magazine, recalled Hainey going through difficult periods, but not knowing how to reach out to him. “It breaks my heart now,” he told AVENUEinsider. “Six months ago,” he continued whilst addressing the stylish crowd, “we were randomly seated next to each other at a dinner party, and he casually mentions that he wrote a book, and so I asked for an advanced copy. Literally every 20 pages I would email him: ‘Oh my God, I’m shattered!'” Henault recounted in mock dramatic tone.  But in all seriousness, “I have such super talented people in my life, and this is the first time someone I know has created something so unbelievably personal, hugely insightful, and with no judgement. I need for you to read this book!” Copies of which were there for the taking, and that Mr. Hainey was more than happy to sign for this sociable group of friends and fans.


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