COXSACKIE, NY. MARCH 24, 2010 — What happens when you pin all
your hopes on a single event—and it all goes horribly wrong? When
that event is the uncorking of a fabled bottle of 1787 Château Lafite
once owned by Thomas Jefferson, the repercussions are emotional,
financial, theatrical and, in every way, unexpected. In this tale of
hubris and redemption, aspiration and perseverance, first-time novelist
Joanne Sydney Lessner provides a provocative glimpse into the world
of fine wine, from the whirl of New York City haute cuisine to the
historic vineyards of the Hudson Valley.
When Sy Hampton purchases this legendary bottle—which, through a
quirk of preservation, may yet be drinkable—he shocks the wine
community by choosing to uncork it privately with a female
companion, rather than at a special public event. Sy intends the
evening to be a quiet reassertion of his virility in the throes of middle
age, but for ambitious restaurateur Annette Lecocq, the event offers an
irresistible opportunity for much-needed publicity. Their competing
agendas are not the only things to collide on the fateful night. Caught
in the crossfire are Tripp Macgregor, a waiter on the verge of his longawaited
Broadway debut, and Valentina D’Ambrosio, the beautiful but
unworldly working girl from Brooklyn Sy hopes to impress.
A few years ago, through what she describes as a game of “urban
legend telephone,” Lessner became intrigued by a fractured account of
an actual incident, in which the contents of a 1787 Château Margaux
wound up on the floor of the Four Seasons. But as Lessner notes, “By
the time I unearthed the true story of that night, the fantasy version—
and my utterly fictitious characters—had taken root in my mind. The
result is Pandora’s Bottle.”
Pandora’s Bottle will be published in June 2010 by Flint Mine Press.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOANNE SYDNEY LESSNER (www.joannelessner.com) has written several musicals with her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, including the cult hit Fermat’s Last Tango, which received its Off Broadway
premiere at the York Theatre Company and its European premiere at the Teatro da Trindade in Lisbon, Portugal.
The original cast recording became a bestseller, and the film version has been screened from New Jersey to New
Zealand. Einstein’s Dreams, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman, received its world premiere at the
Teatro da Trindade and has been presented in concert in New York. Lessner’s original plays include Critical Mass,
winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition, slated to open Off Broadway at the Lion
Theater in October 2010, and Crossing Lines, a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. She is a
regular contributing writer to Opera News and holds a B.A. in music, summa cum laude, from Yale University.
Lessner was raised in the Hudson Valley and currently resides in New York City with her husband and two
children. Pandora’s Bottle is her first novel.
About the Publisher
Flint Mine Press (www.flintminepress.com) is a small publishing group committed to enabling new and
independent authors and organizations to reach their creative potential. Flint Mine Press endeavors to publish
works that foster an understanding of the history and culture of New York State, with a concentration on the
Hudson Valley region. Flint Mine Press focuses on works of historical and regional interest, favoring close
collaboration between author and publisher. In this regard, Flint Mine Press is dedicated to maintaining highquality
standards while producing substantial, unique and energetic books and publications.
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