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The Chandler Burr Name-dropping Index

There is — as we established in this week’s Q&A with the writer — a never-ending deluge of name-dropping in Chandler Burr’s debut novel, You or Someone Like You, which must have required research as prodigious as anything Harold Bloom (mentioned in the book) ever conducted. For your convenience, we’ve created an index of all the real-life players in Hollywood, New York, and Jerusalem who are featured in the book (we lack the time and resources to establish all the literary lights read in the story’s L.A. book club), as well as their interactions with our two main characters, Howard and Anne Rosenbaum — who are, of course, based on Burr’s agent Eric Simonoff and his wife. Enjoy! [Update: Burr adds the names we missed at post's end.]

Note: These page numbers are taken from a galley copy of the book, and may not correspond to some of the pages in the official printing.

Abrams, J.J. (producer)
Brought into book club by Stacey Snider, 22
Awkwardly arrives before everyone else at first book-club meeting, 26
Tells Jeremy Zimmer the book club intimidates him, 27
Argues with Cook and Snider over potential casting of a film adaptation of an unnamed classic, 29

Aloni, Dan (agent, CAA), 279

Aronofsky, Darren
Would have a “post-modernist field day” doing a biopic on James Boswell, 56

Auden, W.H.
Works as window onto Anne’s personal life, 89–91, 244–245, 253, 296

Austen, Jane
Works as window onto L.A. hierarchy, 97–99

Balaban, Bob
See Levy, David, 71

Baumbach, Noah (Squid and the Whale, etc.)
Book-club member, commanded to read a snippet of Dylan Thomas, 74

Bar-Ilan, David (former spokesman, Likud party, Israel)
At dinner, condemns Netanyahu: “One thing is to have an affair with a shiksa — but a married woman!” 207

Berg, Jeff (chairman of ICM)
Asks Anne if she needs representation, 146

Bernhardt, Sandra
Asked by Us Weekly what she would choose for Anne’s book club, responds that “she didn’t fucking care, she hadn’t been fucking invited,” 162

Berkus, Jim (chairman of United Talent Agency)
Helps Anne through crisis, 227

Bloom, Harold (literary critic)
Thoughts on Falstaff, 300

Blumenthal, Jason (producer, The Taking of Pelham 123, et al.), 278

Bookman, Bob (agent, CAA), 279

Bronfman, Charles (Seagram’s heir)
Photographed with Howard to promote Birthright Israel project, 280

Brooks, Albert
Becomes “quite competitive” over Jude the Obscure, 217

Brooks, James L. (writer/producer, The Simpsons, et al.)
Tells the book group he dislikes late Wordsworth — causing Anne’s son’s teacher to assign an essay on whether her students agree with him, 177

Bruckheimer, Bonnie (producer), 266

Cerf, Bennett (legendary editor of Random House)
Convinces the Rosenbaums to move to L.A. and sell books to movie studios, 30–31

Chaiken, Ilene (writer, The L Word)
Defends Anne against accusations she’s being sexist, 167

Chernin, Peter (CEO, Fox)
Decides to send delegate to the book clubs, 77

Cohen, Bruce (producer, Milk, et al.), 260

Cook, Melanie (entertainment lawyer)
Suggests book club, cites Edith Wharton, 13–14
Runs into Stacey Snider, tells her about book club, 21
See Abrams, J.J., 29

Diller, Barry, 260

Double Features Films
Sends a delegation to a discussion on Thackery, 77

Finerman, Wendy (producer, The Devil Wears Prada, et al.)
Invites Anne to give a talk that turns controversial and career-threatening, 220

Foxman, Abraham (director, Anti-Defamation League), 281

Franklin, Nancy (writer, The New Yorker)
Makes a point to Anne about a production of All My Sons; Anne privately responds, “Oh damn Nancy Franklin and her observations,” 205–206

Ganis, Sidney (producer)
Tells Vanity Fair Anne and Howard are a “rock solid” couple, 169

Geffen, David
Meets Howard, scoffs at the idea that people read in Hollywood, 34

Golding, William (author, Lord of the Flies)
Works as window onto Anne’s personal life, 60–64

Goldsman, Akiva (screenwriter, producer)
Hands out copies of the poetry of Edward Lear, 110–112

Goldsmith-Thomas, Elaine (producer, Mona Lisa Smile, et al.), 279

Goldwyn, Samuel
As history’s first book-to-movie adaptor, 32

Gordon, Mark (producer, Saving Private Ryan, et al.)
See Snider, Stacey, 312–313

Gottlielb, Robert (editor, Knopf), 31

Gourevitch, Philip
Overhears Anne ranting about a grammatical error in The New Yorker, 145

Hytner, Nick (director, The History Boys)
“He of all of them should know” the gay themes in Auden’s work and life, Anne thinks, 244

Jacobson, Nina (studio executive)
The only Hollywood person to be quoted from real life, saying “So, what? They’re wrong and we’re right?” in reference to Jewish double standard, 273

Jaffe, Stanley (producer, Kramer vs. Kramer, et al.)
Joins book club, 64–65

Jenkins, Nicholas (literary historian)
Tells Anne at a library benefit that Auden was the only truly significant British poet of the twentieth century, 87

Johnson, Samuel
Excerpted, compared to David Mamet, 69

Jonathan Kaplan (director, The Accused, et al.)
See Zemeckis, Robert, 14

Katzenberg, Jeffrey (co-founder, Dreamworks)
Tells Vanity Fair that “Anne’s politics are kind of a cipher,” 171

Kaufman, Amy (producer, Focus Features)
Asks Anne to vet a script for syntax, 146

Kit, Borys (writer, The Hollywood Reporter)
Publishes story about Anne reprimanding her son’s grammar-school teacher, 147

Kuspit, Donald (art critic)
Meets the couple for a bite in the cafeteria of the Jewish Museum, 122

Lane, Anthony
Writes a piece inspired by a book-group discussion of Edward Lear, 112

Lawrence, Marc (writer, Music and Lyrics, et al.)
See Zemeckis, Robert, 14

Levinsohn, Gary (producer, Snakes on a Plane, et al.), 279

Levy, David (producer, Gosford Park, et al.)
Comments on David Mamet, 70
Complains about screenwriter Lizzy Weiss’s draft because it lacks meter (or so Bob Balaban tells Anne after hearing the rumor), 71

Leibovitz, Annie
Photographs Anne for massive Vanity Fair profile, 164–170

Margolick, David (magazine writer)
Writes massive Vanity Fair profile on Anne and the book club, 163-169

Mamet, David
Glengarry Glen Ross discussed, 64–68
Compared to Samuel Johnson, 69
Contrasted with Julius Caesar, 69

Makovsky, David (journalist, Ha’aretz, Israel), 207

Margalit, Avishai (Israeli philosopher), 210

Marshall, Rob (choreographer, director), 260

Menken, Alan (Hollywood film composer), 230

Midler, Bette
Asked by Us Weekly what book she would choose for the club, proposes D.H. Lawrence, 162

Moritz, Neal (producer, I Am Legend, et al.)
Joins book club, 86

Mutchnik, Max (producer, Will and Grace, et al.),
Joins book club, 57

Ovitz, Mike (super-agent, ex-head of CAA)
Hears of Howard through Mort Janklow (agent), works with him, 31–32

Paumgarten, Nick (Writer, The New Yorker)
Writes up Anne’s rant about grammatical error in The New Yorker as a "Talk of the Town" (as reported to him by Philip Gourevitch), 146

Remnick, David
Chance run-in in the Condé Nast elevator, discussion of his article on Natan Sharansky, in which there is movie interest, 107–110
Meeting with Howard and Natan Sharansky, 120
Calls Anne to say she was right about grammatical error in The New Yorker, 146
Tells Anne, “Jerusalem is the City of Opinion,” 208
Another meeting with Howard and Natan Sharansky, 313

Rifkin, Arnold (producer, Night Train, et al.), 279

Rosenbeld, Shalom (journalist, Ma’ariv, Israel), 207

Ross, Alex (New Yorker music critic)
At drinks with Anne and Howard, discusses Strauss and anti-Semitism, 201–203
Plays a key role in Howard and Anne’s relationship, via thoughts on anti-Semitism, 307–309

Roth, Eric (screenwriter, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, et al.)
Is put out by A.E. Houseman’s sense of meter, 73

Roth, Joe (producer, Hell Boy II, et al.), 218

Rubenstein, Danny (columnist, Ha’aretz, Israel), 210

Rudin, Scott (super-producer), 260

Sarkin, Anne (editor at Vanity Fair)
Calls Anne, whom she knows personally, to propose a cover story on her for Vanity Fair, 162

Scher, Stacey (Producer, Reno 911), 218

Shavit, Ari (columnist, Ha’aretz, Israel), 207

Sharansky, Avital (Natan’s wife)
Writes Howard a letter begging him to move to Israel, 211

Shaiman, Marc (composer for Broadway and the South Park movie)
Composes, plays, and sings a very funny gay parody called “You’re a Top,” 230

Shelley, Percy B.
Works as window onto L.A. society, 101–102

Silberling, Brad (director, Land of the Lost), 244

Sillerman, Robert (Broadway producer)
Makes a joke about Sinclair Lewis and Hollywood fund-raisers, 173

Slotnick, Amy (producer)
Asks Anne what the most important work of the twentieth century is, finds out it’s Pygmalion, 78

Shawn, William (former editor-in-chief, The New Yorker), 31

Singer, Mark (writer, The New Yorker)
Tells Anne her husband “keeps the writer’s entrance to Hollywood, like Cerberus. But with only one head,” 31
Tells Anne Hollywood is “where the writer is that laughable schmendrik so low in the food chain he gets flossed for breakfast,” 110

Snider, Stacey (studio executive; co-founder, with Spielberg, of Dreamworks Studios)
Suggests a reading list, 8
Eagerly horns her way into the book club, after running into Cook, 21
See Abrams, J.J., 29
Has a brief falling out with Mark Gordon over Bruce Vinokour, 312–313

Silver, Casey (Casey Silver Productions)
Listens to Howard summarize Hamlet in simple rhyming couplets, 9–13

Simon, David (writer, The Wire)
Compares Anne’s son to a Fellini character, 139

Singer, Bryan (director, X-Men et al.)
Reads touching section from Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, 245

Spielberg, Sawyer (Steven’s son)
Playdate with Anne’s son, also attended by Kate Capshaw, 112–113

Susman, Gary (critic, Entertainment Weekly)
Writes up the book clubs in EW, 161–162

Thackery, William Makepeace
Anne says one of his characters would be a perfect role for an actor recently on the cover of Vanity Fair (get it?), 50

Tisch, Steve (producer)
Asks Anne what she thinks of Alexandre Dumas and Henry James, 96

Vinokour, Bruce (agent, CAA)
See Snider, Stacey, 312

Wechsler, Lawrence (art critic, former New Yorker writer)
Joins the couple and Donald Kuspit at the Jewish Museum, talks about Jews, 122

Weiss, Lizzy (screenwriter)
Joins book club after being critiqued for inattention to meter, 71

Wick, Douglas (producer)
Seriously considers the James Boswell biopic idea, 59–60

Wilentz, Amy (writer, The New Yorker), 207

Zaillian, Steve (writer, Schindler’s List, et al.)
Book-club member, big on Cervantes, 86

Zemeckis, Robert
Argues with Jonathan Kaplan and Marc Lawrence about whether Spike Lee is derivative, citing Joseph Conrad and Saul Bellow for comparison, 14

Zimmer, Jeremy (co-founder, United Talent Agency), 27, 57
Tells Anne her book club intimidates people, then joins it, 27

Zuckerman, Mortimer, 281

Zupnick, Stanley (producer)
Joins book club because they’ll be reading Glengarry Glen Ross, since he produced the movie version, 65

UPDATE: Despite our best efforts, it seems we missed a few important people above. How do we know? Chandler Burr himself writes in:

That thing rocks! FYI you missed Paul Attanasio ("Paul is sending some people from Heel & Toe and might come himself") and also two other big people I'm forgetting now. Oh! Todd Black. Very big shot. And Brian Lipson, Endeavor agent. And ... what's his name ... And I meant to make it clear that Stacey wasn't horning in on Melanie's suggestion; when I wrote it I meant to say that Melanie took a cue from Stacey and put in the suggestion that got them both into Anne's garden. I actually mailed a copy to Stacey with a personal note last week. I told her I figured I owed it to her, having forced her to take a role I didn't even pay her SAG for.

Photo: Michael Strong