29-year-old debut novelist Porochista Khakpour had her book party last night at her friend Sarma Melngailis's raw food restaurant, Pure Food and Wine. It was also Sarma's 35th birthday, so the party contained an oddly wonderful mix of raw food-loving celebs—Carol Alt! Ann ... Curry?—and literary types. Laurel Ptak took the glamourshots.
Porochista's book, about a family of Iranian immigrants dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 in poignant and funny ways, is getting raves all over the damn place, which has Porochista sort of flummoxed. "I never expected this to happen to my little book. I almost cried the first time I saw it in a bookstore," she told us. She's not being false-modest, either: her book is published by indie stalwart Grove/Atlantic, which doesn't have the cash money to give a new title a Kunkelian marketing push and must instead rely on its authors to generate their own buzz.
However, some of the celebrities at the party last night didn't seem to quite know what they were celebrating. "This is a book party?" Ann Curry asked us when we interrupted her conversation to ask if we could get a picture. "And what are these pictures for?"
We told her.
"Gawker? What's that?"
She was told it was, uh, a media gossip blog.
"What does that mean?" asked Ann's friend Babs.
"Which part, 'media gossip' or 'blog?'"
"Media gossip," said Babs. "Like, does that mean you'll be gossiping about us tomorrow?"
I didn't even bother to hedge. "Uh, probably."