This is an open-ended blog ranging from news about my latest gigs and publications
to ruminations about politics, world affairs, culture and whatever piques my interest—or ire.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Anyone who has been following this blog since last summer may have wondered why it suddenly went silent in July and August. (Probably nobody noticed or wondered anything at all, but just in case...) The reason is that my June 27 post on France's Bettencourt scandal attracted the attention of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who asked me to do a full-blown piece on this juicy saga for his magazine. Though I had expected to spend the summer luxuriating in France, eating exotic food and pecking away at a new novel in my spare time, I eagerly accepted Graydon's offer. Abandoning my beloved chaise longue, I launched into ten-hour days of reading press clippings, pumping the Internet, tracking down sources and doing interviews over steaming expressos and, I confess, the occasional gourmet meal in a Parisian restaurant. The reporting and writing job devoured my whole summer, but now that it's out in Vanity Fair's November issue, as Edith Piaff sang, "Je ne regrette rien." It's an intriguing tale about an 88-year-old hieress who gave more than a billion dollars (that's nine zeros) to her fawning dandy friend, photographer/artist Fran├žois-Marie Banier, and nearly brought down the French government in the process. Check it out:

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Sancton, the pawns, Knights and checkmate maneuvers behind France's Alstom bribery scandal and pending trials should make much more sense in light of your journalistically intuitive revelations.