A compulsively readable behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the weddings section of The New York Times--the good, bad, and just plain weird--through the eyes of a young reporter just as she's falling in love herself.
Growing up in the south, where tradition reigns supreme, Cate Doty thought about weddings . . . a lot. She catered for them, she attended many, she imagined her own. So, when she moved to New York City in pursuit of love--and to write for The New York Times--she finds her natural home in the wedding section, a first step to her own happily-ever-after, surely. Soon Cate is thrown into the cutthroat world of the metropolitan society pages, experiencing the lengths couples go to have their announcements accepted and the lengths the writers go in fact-checking their stories; the surprising, status-signaling details that matter most to brides and grooms; and the politics of the paper at a time of vast cultural and industry changes.
Reporting weekly on couples whose relationships seem enviable--or eye-roll worthy--and dealing with WASPy grandparents and last-minute snafus, Cate is surrounded by love, or what we're told to believe is love. But when she starts to take the leap herself, she begins to ask her own questions about what it means to truly commit...
Warm, witty, and keenly observed, Mergers and Acquisitions is an enthralling dive into one of society's most esteemed institutions, its creators and subjects, and a young woman's coming-of-age.
Journalist Doty's boisterous debut combines memoir with a behind-the-scenes look at the New York Times style section and a survey of modern marriage trends. Soon after graduating from UNC in 2002, Doty, who "loved nothing more... than playing dress-up in my mom's homemade wedding dress" as a girl, landed a job writing wedding announcements for the Times. Doty tracks the evolution of the paper's society pages from the appearance of the first wedding announcement in 1851 to the first inclusion of a same-sex couple in 2012, shares details of the selection process (announcements typically chosen for publication are "chronicle of power"), and describes the awkwardness of fact-checking the backgrounds of marquee couples whose announcements were set to appear "above the fold." Throughout, she interweaves biographical details about her childhood in the South, reflects on how the institution of marriage has changed as a result of women's empowerment, and offers an intimate look at the ups and downs of her love life in New York City and her own marriage (which was announced by the Times in 2010). Laced with frank reflection and entertaining anecdotes, this is a winning portrait of love and ambition in the 21st century.
Author capitalized on her time at the NYT to sell a woke, leftist themed memoir.