Saturday, December 24, 2016

2007 | Birth of a Literary Landmark


Times Insider shares historical insights from The New York Times.
Authors’ autographs adorn the walls of Room 05S1-228 at The Times’s headquarters. The marketing department now occupies this area, where The Book Review used to be. Credit David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
America’s newest literary landmark is not a library, a bookstore, an author’s birthplace or her salon.
It is Room 05S1-228 on the fifth floor of The New York Times’s headquarters near Times Square. A nondescript box of a space, closed off by a sliding frosted-glass door, the 5-by-9-foot room was originally intended as a refuge where employees could spend a few private moments crying or chilling.
But since it faced the Book Review’s cubicles, it became something else: a gallery of autographs from literary luminaries, written like graffiti with black markers on white plaster walls.
E. L. Doctorow? He’s on the west wall, hovering over Garrison Keillor. Gay Talese’s signature practically rests on Mr. Doctorow’s “w,” while Rafael Yglesias’s autograph nearly bumps into Mr. Talese’s “G.”
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