The Man on the Third Floor

Overview

Walter Samson is a successful book editor in post-World War II New York. He has money, an interesting wife, two smart children, and reason to believe he's leading the good American life—until a chance meeting with Barry Rogers. Barry is blue-collar, handsome, single, and poor. Walter is instantly drawn to Barry and, despite the considerable risks, installs him in the Samson's three-story house on the Upper East Side, where the two men try to keep their amorous relationship secret. Against a backdrop of ...

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The Man on the Third Floor

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Overview

Walter Samson is a successful book editor in post-World War II New York. He has money, an interesting wife, two smart children, and reason to believe he's leading the good American life—until a chance meeting with Barry Rogers. Barry is blue-collar, handsome, single, and poor. Walter is instantly drawn to Barry and, despite the considerable risks, installs him in the Samson's three-story house on the Upper East Side, where the two men try to keep their amorous relationship secret. Against a backdrop of McCarthy-era fear and pervasive homophobia, Walter manages to alter the direction and course of his life, losing much but gaining more.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her 10th novel (after Short Pleasures), Bernays deftly articulates the difficulties faced by homosexuals during the McCarthy witch-hunt years. Walter Samson is a senior editor at Griffin House, a respected Manhattan publisher, where he discovers the right-wing “cash cow” author Edgar Fleming. Walter also meets Barry Rogers, a carpet-layer who, like Walter, is a closeted homosexual, and Walter soon persuades Barry to accept a position as handyman and chauffeur for the Samsons and to move into their home. Sheltered under one roof, the duo covertly indulge one another’s sexual appetites, and while Walter confesses that Barry is “the deepest, most satisfying love of my life,” he also fears losing his social standing and family. Walter’s daughter grows wise to her father’s exploits, followed by their blackmailing cook. After hearing word of Communist sympathizers in Griffin’s employ, Edgar abandons his publisher in a huff, and Walter’s “snake pit” deepens after a reporter exposes his affair. Bernays explores a dramatic era in American history and the psyches of her characters with equal ease in this well-written and entertaining new novel. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)
Publishers Weekly
Bernays deftly articulates the difficulties faced by homosexuals during the McCarthy witch-hunt years. She explores a dramatic era in American history and the psyches of her characters with equal ease in this well-written and entertaining new novel.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author - Annie Dillard
I just love this book. It's my favorite of all her books by light-years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579622855
  • Publisher: Permanent Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/28/2012
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Bernays
This is Anne Bernays tenth novel. She is the co-author of three non-fiction books and scores of articles, book reviews and essays in national publications. A long-time teacher of writing, she is currently on the faculty of Lesley University's MFA program in writing and is a writing instructor at Harvard's Nieman Foundation. Her novel, Growing Up Rich, won the Edward Lewis Wallent Award and another novel, Professor Romeo was a New York Times Notable Book.
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    1. Hometown:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 14, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Wellesley College, 1948-1950; B A., Barnard College, 1952

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