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Keith Gessen and Salman Rushdie: literary hotties

February 10, 2009 |  9:19 am


Sir Salman Rushdie and Keith Gessen are officially New York hotties: Page 6 has dubbed them two of NYC's 50 hottest bachelors. Publishing isn't widely represented; most bachelors are your typical captains of industry, rockers, chefs, twenty- and thirtysomething millionaire heirs. But Steve Ross, president of publisher Collins, also makes the list, as does Columbia writing student James Franco, who might have made the grade for his day job, acting in films like "Milk" and "Spider-Man 2."

At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan points out that the list isn't perfect. Some of the men are not so hot. Others are not exactly bachelors (Fred Armisen is engaged to Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men"). And some don't even live in New York -- Gessen currently resides in Russia.

Picky, picky.

I'm just glad that any writers made the list. Let's face it: Writers are professionally inclined against hotness. The job of a writer is to sit and type (or pen, if you're Paul Auster). Writers also spend a lot of time reading, which is, sadly, slightly less active than writing. A reading workout goes something like this: sit, turn page, remain seated. Add to that writers' propensity for booze -- face it, all that reading and writing demands a little recreation -- and writers wind up being less smokin' hot and more pretty on the inside.

So congrats to Rushdie and Gessen for elevating the author class. It's an uphill battle.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Credits: Keith Gesse by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times; Salman Rushdie by Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times