October 2, 2006

A Gay American
After reading Jim McGreevey’s telling portrayal of his gay affair and life before, during, and after, I was absolutely moved [“The Making of a Gay American,” September 25]. His words are honest and sincere, and I find in no way that he should have been persecuted the way he was. I say good luck to you, Mr. McGreevey: May you have a happy and healthy partnership, political career, and life.
—Blair Davis, Manhattan

Although I have compassion for former governor Jim McGreevey, I can’t help but think that he, in a way, was doing exactly to his wife as was being done to him. Had it not been for the “blackmailing” attempt, this ruse would have continued at the further expense of his wife’s right to a fulfilling life of her own.
—Shirley Naso, East Hanover, N.J.

The pity is that Jim McGreevey has forfeited the goodwill he earned with his confession a couple of years ago in order to exploit his opportunities for profit. He could have been a wonderful role model to young gays struggling with their identity; instead, he brings forth the salacious details of his private life. He’ll rake in royalties, but young gays had better search elsewhere for someone to look up to.
—Stanley Ely, Manhattan

As a New Jerseyan, I am astonished to hear that McGreevey is still espousing the premise that he had to resign because he was “a gay American.” Who cares? He resigned because he was corrupt and was about to be exposed as such. I do not understand why the gay community is so receptive to him, since his reason for resignation gave credence to those social beliefs that gays cannot govern, serve in the military, and so on. This is counter to all that the gay community stands for.
—Edward V. Collins, Mountainside, N.J.

The Ma of the Intelligentsia
Without detracting from Barbara Epstein’s astonishing gifts and accomplishments [“The Ma and Pa of the Intelligentsia,” by James Atlas, September 25], discovering Anne Frank’s diary (for American readers) was not one of them. That happened in Doubleday’s Paris office, where Judith Jones, another icon in the editorial world, was working at the time. Her boss gave her the French edition of the diary one day and asked her to return and reject it. Instead, she read it—and was moved to tears. When she told her boss that it must be sent to New York for publication, he famously replied, “What, the book by that kid?” I imagine that once the book found its way to New York, it landed in Barbara Epstein’s capable hands.
—Susan Eddy, Manhattan

Regarding the ongoing discussion of rent stabilization [“Two BR: $2,600. Three BR: $568,” by Michael Idov, September 18], I can’t help but wonder which rent costs are more berserk—those paid by the new, young workers, who will do anything to live in this great city now that it’s been cleaned up for them, or those of us loyalists who stuck it out through the drugs, burglaries, and murders in the sixties and seventies and raised our children here. In my youth, I was taught that the mathematics of living was one week’s pay equals one month’s rent. This formula no longer rings true. If it were, we could all eat out in the wonderful new restaurants, see $11 movies, buy clothes, take needed vacations, and live for more than the landlord.
—Joan L. Washington, Manhattan

Prince Timberlake
Ben Williams’s reviews and analysis of the new Justin Timberlake and OutKast albums [“The Men Who Would Be Prince,” September 18] are spot-on, particularly regarding Prince’s influence on both these artists. Yet Mr. Williams forgets to mention that Timberlake’s song “Until the End of Time” not only “borrows” Prince’s signature Linn drum-machine sound but also has its title lifted directly from of one of Prince’s most lyrically beautiful songs, the ballad “Adore,” from the 1987 album Sign ‘o’ the Times, which opens with that phrase and is also part of the chorus.
—Gary Feldman, Manhattan

Correction: In “Best Bets” (September 25), the Samsung Helix should have been described as receiving XM radio, not Sirius.

October 2, 2006