"You did it. You did it," enthused the New Republic's Leon Wieseltierto newly minted author Tina Brown in a crowd of well-wishers Thursday celebrating the publication of her book, "The Diana Chronicles," at the home of Beth and Ron Dozoretz in upper Northwest.
It's not as though anyone doubted the superarticulate lady could write. Perhaps the eminently intellectual Mr. Wieseltier also was congratulating the high-profile author, former turn-around editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, on her blockbuster publicity bandwagon.
Nary a day has gone by of late without a sighting of Mrs. Brown touting her muse, the late Princess of Wales, whose foibles and fancies as well as Windsor clan shenanigans are detailed in 500-plus pages.
"Book parties have become the new social life in Washington," observed Buffy Cafritz, a hostess of repute cradling two copies. "There are two or three of them a week."
The bipartisan nature of these affairs may account for the draw — a chance to escape supercharged issues on a day when Palestine was in free fall, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr.'s appeal was on the skids, the immigration bill at a standstill, and don't even mention Iraq.
"In Germany, authors read for an hour at book parties," said the knowledgeable Olivia Schoeller, a veteran correspondent from Berlin.
No chance of that happening here — where the scene was all hugs and kisses and Mrs. Dozoretz calling Mrs. Brown "a force of nature ... a girl's girl" — in her introduction,
"I'm blessed with the best of friends," Mrs. Brown exalted in return. "This is what you depend on. Anyone who has written a book knows the feeling." Then: It's "a lot more fun celebrating at times than writing it." Nor did she ignore her subject's relevance to Washington, reminding everyone how Diana had her "quintessential moment here, her Hollywood moment," dancing in the White House with John Travolta and the whole world looking on.
Also, on a higher sociological plane: "She is all about the celebrity culture, which is what drives politics today."
Eden Rafshoon, book in hand, declared herself more "fascinated by the [Diana] phenomenon" than by further revelations about the British royals. "The perfect summer book," intoned Kathy O'Hearn, party co-host along with Susan Mercandetti, Elsa Walsh and Kyle Gibson. Among the other ladies present were Rep. Jane Harmon, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados Mary Ourisman, Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Nina Totenberg, Ann Stock, Claire Shipman, Ann Hand, Samia Farouki, Aniko Gaal Schott, Lorraine Wallace, Ann Pincus, Julianna Glover Weiss, Gabriella Moreno and Melanne Verveer. The men included Walter Pincus, Bob Woodward, Jay Carney, Chris Wallace and Huda Farouki. Neither Dr. Dozoretz nor noted author-editor Harold Evans, who is Mrs. Brown's husband, were present.