‘Vanity Fair’ Editor: Buying Presents for Shoeshine Boy?

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Was there a quid pro quo involved in the making of Vanity Fair deputy editor Doug Stumpf's debut novel, Confessions of a Wall Street Shoeshine Boy? The book, about a shoe shiner who helps uncover an insider-trading scandal, makes liberal use of the experiences of an actual shoe shiner: his dialect, worldview, and interactions with his well-heeled customers. Warner Brothers has optioned the film rights for the book, which will be in stores in July, and word around Vanity Fair is that Stumpf bought his source a car as a thank you for his insights. "Sure, there's a real shoeshine boy that I spoke to, and I thank him in the acknowledgments. He was my muse and my main inspiration for writing the book," says Stumpf. "This is somebody who's now a good friend, and somebody whose life I'm trying to improve. But I didn't buy him a car." —Emma Rosenblum