In the Nov. 6, 1988, Heard on the Hill column, Bill Thomas chronicled the D.C. visit of Jay McInerney, the author of “Bright Lights, Big City” and a zeitgeist-catching scribe of the times.
“A Thousand Points of Light, Self-Important City. Hold onto your ennui everybody, authory/late 80s cult figure Jay McInerney may soon be coming to Washington to write a novel about moving and shaking. Here for a book party a week ago to celebrate his latest production, “The Story of My Life,” America’s most important under-30 novelist shared his thoughts with investigative interviewer Lisa McCormack of The Washington Times. ‘It’s such a copmany town,’ McInerney said of Cap City. ‘Everybody wants the same thing — power. It’s the currency. In New York there’s entertainment [and] media. It’s kind of nice that there are different games being played [in Washington]. It’s less monomaniacal.’ This sounds like an oeuvre already in progress.”
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We never got the second-person treatment (what “Bright Lights, Big City” is seemingly most famous for), nor the fun naughtiness that characterizes a lot of his work. McInerney for the most part has stuck to New York as the settings for his fiction.