CENTRAL LIBRARY - Author Steven Rowley - The Editor

  • Date: 09/24/2019 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM  
  • Location: Downtown Central Library
    222 East Harvard Street
    Glendale, California 91205
  • Introduction: A gifted author finds himself working with arguably the most famous editor in the world, circa 1992: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

A gifted author finds himself working with arguably the most famous editor in the world, circa 1992: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

THE EDITOR opens in New York City circa 1992, when James Smale, a gifted but struggling young writer, learns a major publisher has expressed interest in his as-yet unpublished book. Finally, a real editor wants to discuss his work. Don’t blow it, he thinks. Soon he’s in a Doubleday conference room nervously awaiting the guy who holds James’s future in his hands. Only it turns out, it’s not a guy.  And it’s not just any editor but arguably the most famous editor in the world: the one and only Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. And so begins the ride of a lifetime as this unlikely duo spar and bond over the mother-son dance writ large in James’s candidly autobiographical manuscript.

Mrs. Onassis, as she’s respectfully known around the office, believes in the author’s talent, but she’s also certain the story needs a stronger ending. As Jackie and James plow into the book and their unexpected friendship deepens, she quietly presses him to head home to confront his difficult family history. It’s the only way to deliver a truly authentic ending, she gently reasons, and reluctantly he comes around to her way of thinking. But after a startling family secret is revealed, James wonders if Jackie knew all along that the journey home would unwittingly expose wrenching truths, and that illumination could slowly and inevitably bring true healing.

With lovably flawed characters and Rowley’s signature intimate prose, THE EDITOR shares poignant truths about young men and their mothers, authors and their editors, and the minefields of speaking the truth about those we love. From James’s tender and sometimes tense relationship with his boyfriend Daniel, to his jagged history with his distant ex-Marine father and steely mother, THE EDITOR offers brilliant insight into emotionally fractured families in which relationships ebb and flow through the years, despite best intentions.  

By turns heartrending and hilarious, THE EDITOR is a testament to Steven Rowley’s utterly original storytelling. Subtly layered with affectionate detail about a beloved historical figure, it spotlights one of the least explored periods of the former First Lady’s life as it weaves a beautiful, moving tale about the importance of reconciliation. 

Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, which has been translated into nineteen languages.  He has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, Rowley is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

In 2016, Steven Rowley’s smash debut, Lily and the Octopus, was a publishing phenomenon. The magical tale of grief and friendship sent shock waves through the literary world and was heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. Sold in translation in nineteen languages, Rowley’s remarkable book made The Washington Post’s list of Notable Fiction for 2016 and is currently in development as an Amazon Studios feature film.  

Rowley now delivers on the soaring promise of that debut with THE EDITOR, a stunning exploration of the complicated bonds forged within families and a tribute to the serendipitous relationships that shape and define us—perfect for admirers of Less and The Nix.
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