Those who have read Sally Quinn's 1991 novel Happy Endings may have thought the mysterious scientist love interest seemed a bit familiar.
Quinn has now revealed she used Dr. Anthony Fauci as the basis for her character Michael Lanzer.
Lanzer is described as "a dashing National Institute of Health scientist who discovered a therapy for AIDS at a time when the President is HIV-positive."
The book was published in 1993 and is currently out of print, but used copies are available online.
@meridithmcgraw Seriously? Based on Fauci? https://t.co/w6ITYiwry9— Andrew Feinberg (@Andrew Feinberg)1588769599.0
The author told The Washingtonian how she and Fauci met at a dinner party.
She was immediately taken by his personality and he inspired a new character for her.
"I just fell in love with him. Usually those dinners, you make polite conversation, and that's it. But we had this intense conversation, personal conversation. I thought, 'Wow, this guy is amazing.'"
Sally Quinn Modeled the Erotic Hero of Her 1991 Bestseller on...Anthony Fauci. Bellinis are spilled, love is made,… https://t.co/bPcmZkO20E— James Hohmann (@James Hohmann)1588705604.0
At this point, Fauci had already been working for years at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In the novel, Lanzer begins a heated romance with former First Lady Sadie Grey who is won over by—among other things—his "low, melodious, sexy, almost hypnotic" voice.
"Before long, Grey is mewing over Lanzer’s 'low, melodious, sexy, almost hypnotic' voice. Suffice it to say that re… https://t.co/lw9MoIs57R— Alec MacGillis (@Alec MacGillis)1588703933.0
Quinn described Grey's ideal lover, saying Fauci fit the bill.
"What kind of person would she be in love with? It would not be somebody from a great family or with a lot of money. But it would be somebody who was really brilliant, and compassionate, and kind, and decent, and honest. All of those things—and sexy."
"Readers who are wise to Lanzer’s true identity will more than once find themselves confronted with a very naked An… https://t.co/DFaUQ2WwJd— Aaron Mehta (@Aaron Mehta)1588703521.0
Fauci also seemed very different from the usual political crowd.
"He was so different from most Washington people, because he's so self-effacing. He's not in it for the glory or the name recognition."
Actual line from the book: “The brain was the true erogenous zone.”— Alec MacGillis (@Alec MacGillis)1588704185.0
Of course, Dr. Fauci has now become one of the most respected names in America.
Many U.S. citizens trust his word on the global pandemic far more than they trust the President's.
Went to look up Sally Quinn’s romance novel based on Fauci (why not?!) and it has one star and is selling for $989… https://t.co/wPK1kzn2pR— Meridith McGraw (@Meridith McGraw)1588766727.0
Fauci most likely prefers to be known in his current role, but that doesn't mean he's ignorant of his place in Quinn's stories.
The good doctor has apparently been made aware of his connection to Dr. Lanzer.
"He just thought it was funny. I think he was a little embarrassed."
Ok who has a copy of this steamy Sally Quinn romance novel lying around?? A true quarantine must-read https://t.co/kZCd3T2EN0— Lisa Bonos (@Lisa Bonos)1588702043.0
If you’re not reading Sally Quinn’s “Happy Endings,” you’re only getting half the story. https://t.co/lTYLYLzcKr— Liam Stack (@Liam Stack)1588766486.0
Here's to Dr. Fauci, the heart throb America deserves.