cover image Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Greg Lawrence, St. Martin's/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-59193-9

Charting Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's impressive legacy as an editor at Viking and Doubleday, Lawrence draws on a wealth of sources, including interviews with more than 125 of her former publishing collaborators, and hundreds of notes left to the author by Onassis. He was also one of her authors, co-writing three books with his former wife, ballerina Gelsey Kirkland (including the controversial bestseller Dancing on My Grave). Onassis learned the hard lessons of editing early on: from Barbara Chase-Riboud, author of the novel Sally Hemings, that the best authors are those willing to be edited, and from Michael Jackson, the frustration of working with an enigmatic celebrity. This Onassis appreciation appears almost simultaneously with William Kuhn's misleadingly titled Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books, and while both will appeal primarily to publishing and media insiders, Lawrence's perceptive, impressively researched, book is the better of the two, presenting a woman with "a grand spirit of adventure and... a sense of irony about life that served as a kind of armor" for this courageous, gifted woman. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Jan.)