The son of two writers, John Berendt grew up in Syracuse, New York. He
earned a B.A. in English from Harvard University, where he worked on the staff of The
Harvard Lampoon. After graduating in 1961, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in
publishing. Berendt has written for David Frost and Dick Cavett, was editor of New York
magazine from 1977 to 1979, and wrote a monthly column for Esquire from 1982 to
Berendt first traveled to Savannah in the early 1980s, when he realized that he could fly
there for a three-day weekend for the price of "a paillard of veal served on a bed of
wilted radicchio" in one of New York's trendier restaurants. Over the ensuing
eight years his visits became more frequent and extended, until he was spending more time
in Savannah than in New York.
Part of the appeal, Berendt says, lay in the city's penchant for morbid gossip:
"People in Savannah don't say, 'Before leaving the room, Mrs. Jones put on her coat.'
Instead, they say, 'Before leaving the room, Mrs. Jones put on the coat that her third
husband gave her before he shot himself in the head." (Entertainment Weekly)
Since the publication and unprecedented success of Midnight in the Garden of Good and
Evil, Berendt has become a Savannah celebrity and was even presented with the key to the
city. "I took it down to City Hall one night to see if it would work, but it
didn't." (Syracuse Post Standard)
The City of Fallen Angels was published in 2005.
This biography was last updated on 07/07/2007.
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