Love, Dating and a Great Book Party

by Lee Fryd Photographed by Annie Watt
Friday, February 2, 2018

Wendy Sarasohn sometimes sees things in people. She saw stardom in her young assistant Jennifer Aniston. Starting out at a fledgling Corcoran, Wendy envisioned Barbara on a TV show panel, before Shark Tank was even a glimmer in Mark Burnett’s eye. And, two years ago, it happened again.

At her last book party (held for Odd Mom Out’s Jill Kargman), Sarasohn spotted Leslie Cohen waiting to get her copy signed. “Will this ever happen for me?” Leslie wondered as she waited. The only thing she had gotten from the four novels she had written were a slew of rejection slips. Wendy remembers the moment well. “I could see the sadness in her face and the fading hope,” she said. “But, I also saw fame. ‘My next book party will be for you,’ I promised her.” The following day, Simon & Schuster bought Cohen’s book, This Love Story Will Self-Destruct.

Today, it’s a critical darling, touted as a Harry Met Sally for Millennials, with Cohen as its “edgy, updated” Norah Ephron. And the promised party happened on Wednesday. Held at director Rodrigo Garcia’s Upper West Side pied-a-terre—“how great that I could have the party for her in a writer’s apartment!” Wendy enthused—and cohosted by Wendy and her daughter, Jamie Joseph, the evening’s guest list was eclectic, mixing together Wendy’s Upper East Side social set with Jamie’s girlfriends from Spence. Among them: Jennifer Asatur, Kristina and Alexandra Dell, Christine De Lisle, Amy Faxon, Jennine Gourin, Anki Leeds, Myra Scheer, Kate Stamell, Dr. Jen Werely and Leslie’s mother, Jean Cohen.

Wendy describes the thirty-somethings in attendance as “two and a half babies into real estate”—looking to expand their living quarters before the next Caesarian. Granted, not everybody in the room was in the family way. Psychic Joan Carra was on hand for the single set, hopefully to predict love in time for Valentine’s Day. Which was welcome—if This Love Story Will Self-Destruct shows anything, it’s that Millennial courtship comes with its own unique difficulties.

“It’s a bit of a reversal, in that there are a lot more drunken hookups before the getting to know you,” Leslie explained. “It’s burritos at 3 a.m., if you’re lucky. You don’t see dinner ’til you’re seven dates in. Then, you make the decision whether or not to move forward.”


This Love Story Will Self-Destruct is available wherever books are sold.


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