cover image On a Street Called Easy, in a Cottage Called Joye

On a Street Called Easy, in a Cottage Called Joye

Gregory White Smith, Author, Steven Naifeh, With Little Brown and Company $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-59705-0

Fed up with their dark, cramped apartment in Manhattan, Pulitzer Prize winners Smith and Naifeh (for Jackson Pollack: An American Saga) dreamed of living in a palace and found it in a Sotheby catalogue for a million-plus dollars they didn't have. But they made a lucky deal, raised the money, spent three years renovating the 60-room ""cottage"" in Aiken, South Carolina-built for William C. Whitney-and became so accustomed to its vastness that they considered adding another room. They describe with verve the problems in restoring this white elephant, their experiences with local help and local society; and their delight in the gossip about the high life that centered around Whitney and this house at the turn of the century is contagious. The street it's on really is called Easy and the cottage really is named Joye. For reasons unexplained, Smith and Naifeh plan to donate their dream palace to the Juilliard School as a retreat for musicians; one can imagine that it may, after all, be too big for two people. (Apr.)