It’s not hard to get a weekly column in the Washington Post’s Style section—if you’re Sally Quinn.
A week or so ago Quinn met with Post managing editor Raju Narasetti. He’s the nominal chief of washingtonpost.com, where Quinn produces the “On Faith” discussion of religion and spirituality. She wanted to add Sacred Table, a web feature on dining as a religious undertaking.
“Why not do it for Style?” Narasetti said, according to Quinn. “And call it something else.”
And so the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Quinn’s “The Party” made its debut in the upper right lead spot in Style replete with a drawing of Quinn.
Sally haters, filled with envy, recoiled. Sally lovers said: “She’s baaaaack.”Sally, of course, never left. Since she came to the Post in the 1970s as a reporter, she has been writing for the paper in one form or another. She was one of the original vamp feature writers when Style was getting started, she married legendary editor Ben Bradlee, befriended iconic publisher Katharine Graham, left the fold to try TV and write books, but her byline would always show up.
In her inaugural column, Quinn, 68, managed to plug her book on throwing a party and talk about how she arrived at writing a newspaper column. She didn’t say much about actually throwing a party or having a dinner.
In fact, she might never offer much advice.
“I don’t want to be about which fork to use,” she says.
Quinn subtitled her party book “A Guide to Adventurous Entertaining.” It was packed with anecdotes of drunken revelry and inappropriate behavior in the name of fun. But those days are over. She and Bradlee quit throwing their annual New Year’s Eve bash nine years ago.
“It was after 9/11,” she explains, “and it seemed like a different mood.”
Now she and Bradlee are more likely to host cozy dinner parties at their Georgetown manse. She declined to name guests, beyond a recent dinner with Karen Armstrong and Depak Chopra.
And don’t expect any guidance on cooking. I asked if she prepares any of the meals. She answered: “No.”