John Berendt reflects on ‘Midnight’ success

Berendt finds himself among a range of eclectic social engagements from the Married Woman’s Card Club to the black debutante ball, and he is sure to take careful notes of everything. The book reads more like a novel than a nonfiction work.

One of the most memorable descriptions in the book concerns the city of Savannah, filled with its hauntingly beautiful scenery and the slow lifestyle that drew Berendt, a former editor for New York magazine and columnist for Esquire magazine, from his native New York. He lived in a small apartment just off Forsyth Park and spent eight years taking notes and penning what would become a best-seller and put Savannah in the travel-destination spotlight.

What question does Berendt hears the most?

“People ask me if I knew (the book) would be such a success,” he said. “I had no idea whatsoever.”

He said they also ask if he likes the movie version of the book.

“Do I like the movie? Yes.”

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