The Hamptons Writ Large, Very Large

“The Hamptons offer the greatest concentration in America of homes and gardens that rise to the level of art.”
“The Big Book of the Hamptons” offers a pictorial introduction to the life and culture of the place. Assouline

In recent years Michael Shnayerson has chronicled the most significant stories on the South Fork for Vanity Fair, from the neutron bombshell of the former Hummer magnate Ira Rennert’s 100,000-square-foot Fair Field estate landing in the Sagaponack dunes to the land-grab lawsuit against the centuries-old White farming family in that village.

Now he’s up to something quite different, a 23-page introduction to “The Big Book of the Hamptons” (Assouline, $75) that’s just that — an introduction to the life and culture of the place, its landscape, its monied residents, the artists and writers, and, above all, their houses.

“The Hamptons,” he writes, “offer the greatest concentration in America of homes and gardens that rise to the level of art.” And so must a book similarly rise, its heavy-stock, highly glossed, 10-by-13-inch pages redolent of printer’s ink by the tankerful. Houses as stacked geometric boxes are many, pools glitter, shingles overlap in multiplicity. Dazzling aerial photos by Doug Kuntz, long a Star contributing photographer, aren’t in short supply either.

To bring it back down to earth, Mr. Shnayerson will be signing copies at a book launch at the Elie Tahari shop on Main Street in East Hampton on June 7 between 5 and 7 p.m. Also of note? Champagne by Pommery.