A Little Life: A Novel by Hanya Yanagihara:
As they walked downtown, JB complained. So far, he had concentrated most of his seductive energies on a senior editor named Dean, who they all called DeeAnn. They had been at a party, the three of them, held at one of the junior editor’s parents’ apartment in the Dakota, in which art-hung room bled into art-hung room. As JB talked with his coworkers in the kitchen, Malcolm and Willem had walked through the apartment together (Where had Jude been that night? Working, probably), looking at a series of Edward Burtynskys hanging in the guest bedroom, a suite of water towers by the Bechers mounted in four rows of five over the desk in the den, an enormous Gursky floating above the half bookcases in the library, and, in the master bedroom, an entire wall of Diane Arbuses, covering the space so thoroughly that only a few centimeters of blank wall remained at the top and bottom. They had been admiring a picture of two sweet-faced girls with Down syndrome playing for the camera in their too-tight, too-childish bathing suits, when Dean had approached them. He was a tall man, but he had a small, gopher, pockmarked face that made him appear feral and untrustworthy.
They introduced themselves, explained that they were here because they were JB’s friends. Dean told them that he was one of the senior editors at the magazine, and that he handled all the arts coverage.
“Ah,” Willem said, careful not to look at Malcolm, whom he did not trust not to react. JB had told them that he had targeted the arts editor as his potential mark; this must be him.
“Have you ever seen anything like this?” Dean asked them, waving a hand at the Arbuses.
“Never,” Willem said. “I love Diane Arbus.”
Dean stiffened, and his little features seemed to gather themselves into a knot in the center of his little face. “It’s DeeAnn.”
“DeeAnn. You pronounce her name ‘DeeAnn.’”
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