Sexes: St.Joe to Fifth Avenue

The salon is modeled after a room in a 15th century Italian palace. Carved cherubs adorn the ceiling. The walls are decorated with brocade and wood panels. A black Steinway grand piano sits next to tall windows overlooking Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Within this setting, Author Shere Hite is a slight, willowy figure, resembling nothing so much as a fey, reclusive maiden on leave from a Renaissance fair. It is an exquisitely crafted image, graceful, faintly otherworldly, eccentric. The $1.5 million, four-room duplex apartment is a monument to the success of her two earlier Hite Reports.

At the center of Hite's life...

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