Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Julie Metz is the author of the New York Times bestselling Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection for 2009. The recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Glamour, Hemispheres, and the New York City storysite Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Perfection and reported the following:
As it happens, Page 69 of my memoir Perfection falls at an important turning point in the story. In the previous pages, I witnessed my husband’s sudden death and made my way through a foggy period of grief. During these months I began an affair with a much younger man who inspired me with his creativity and sense of adventure.

On page 69, I decide to take a chance, run away from home for a while, and have an adventure of my own. I plan a trip with my then six and a half year old daughter. My husband had hoped to make this same trip as part of a book project he was working on at the time of his death.

The destination was Paris, an annual foodie event called the White Dinner. On a day in late June, the brainchild of the event selects a public place and friends are gathered via cell phone. The group arrives at the location—without a police permit—sets up tables and chairs, and eats a meal: a picnic, guerilla style, with everyone dressed fashionably in summer white. At first, the White Dinner numbered fewer than a hundred people, now the event gathers many thousands. In June 2003, the year my daughter and I attended, the group numbered 1500 or so.

The meal took place at La Place de Pantheon as the sun set, the stone walls changing from glowing orange to violet in twilight. One man strolled through the crowd dressed like a modern day Jay Gatsby, I took photographs of women in airy summer gowns and expansive hats with flowers and flowing scarves. I held the hand of an old friend I’d brought along as my escort while my daughter played at our feet with a friendly dog. The French police arrived, the crowd cheered and we waved our white napkins. A woman’s hat floated upwards, carried away gently on a light breeze, like my heart.
Read an excerpt from Perfection, and learn more about the book and author at Julie Metz's website.

The Page 99 Test: Perfection.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue