Praise for The Receptionist


In 1957 a young Midwestern woman landed a job at The New Yorker. She didn't expect to stay long at the reception desk... but stay she did for twenty-one years.


"Evocative... Groth is exuberantly frank about her young self."
- Kennedy Frasier

"Literary Reality: No other memoir on the market today has half the charm, wit, or verbal dexterity of The Receptionist… Superb."

 — New York Journal of Books

"[A] graceful memoir… Ultimately, it's not her sexual saga but her evocation of the Mad Men working environment that makes Groth's memoir interesting. The Receptionist vividly depicts a largely vanished Manhattan in which Ritz Crackers were the foundation of hors d'oeuvres, martinis were the mainstay of lunches, and pliable, overqualified women were stuck in lowly jobs forever." 

— The Washington Post

"A literate, revelatory examination of self." 

— The Boston Globe

"If you are a fan of The New Yorker and New York City history, you'll adore this fascinating book about Groth's experience at the magazine, where she started at the age of 19 in 1957 and remained until 1978. A lot can happen in 20 years, in life, in society, and in publishing."

 — The Atlantic Wire, "Best Revisitation of a Cultural Icon" of 2012

"Written in lean, graceful prose that offers ample evidence of [Groth's] talent, the book is as much a window into the mythologized publication as it is a chronicle of one woman's self-discovery." 

— The New York Times

"[Groth's] collected the sort of gossipy anecdotes that would have you hanging on her every word at a literary cocktail party." 

— Entertainment Weekly

"For those of us desperate for a Mad Men fix, this memoir goes down like a gin and tonic on a hot day… While readers may find her stories about writers such as poet John Berryman or essayist Joseph Mitchell amusing, what interested me was Groth's depiction of those times, and how she reinvented herself while standing still."

— Chicago Tribune

"Groth can be charmingly offhanded: anecdotal, gently gossipy… the Berryman chapter, one of the first in the book, is also among the finest… 'As a poet-teacher,' she recalls, 'he so invested his ego in his work that he was ego-free, a fleshless, selfless lover of enlightenment, pure spirt.' That's a terrific description, evoking not just his classroom style but also the humor and erudition of his poems." 

— Los Angeles Times

"Groth… isn't a woman to give up, and by the end of the book, she finds her own delightful voice, which is the book's real pleasure."