Kaylie Jones is the author of Lies My Mother Never Told Me, a Publishers Weekly starred review memoir chosen as one of the hottest summer reads by The Palm Beach Pulse, The Daily Beast, and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Kaylie grew up in Paris, France and Sagaponack, New York, and her father was the novelist James Jones. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University School of the Arts. Kaylie has taught in the public schools of New York City through Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and helped found the MFA Program in Writing at Long Island University's, which is now SUNY Stony Brook Southampton Campus, and the MFA Program in Writing at Wilkes University. She teaches memoir, literature and fiction writing at both universities.
LOVE ME NOT (In Development)
Rights: Akashic, World
THE ANGER MERIDIAN (2015)
Merryn Huntley is rudely awakened to the many bad decisions she has made in her life when she is told by two Dallas police officers that her wealthy husband Beau has been killed in a car accident, along with a local waitress. Merryn's first instinct is to flee in order to protect her nine-year-old daughter, and the only place that feels safe enough is her mother's beautiful, isolated home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Merryn's mother, the redoubtable Bibi, always said to her as a child, When you tell a lie, make sure you keep it as close to the truth as possible, because it will be easier to remember. Ironically, from the moment Merryn arrives, she is forced into twisting the truth--about how much she knew of her husband and his shady business affairs; about her own secret lovers; and most importantly, that she is beginning to doubt the one person who has always been the greatest influence in her life: her mother.
The situation worsens when two FBI agents show up and begin to ask Merryn questions about her husband's business, which only intensifies her need to continue lying. While Merryn's perfect life begins to crumble around her, she must decide whether or not she can face the most painful reality of all--that she has been lying to herself her entire life.
"Kaylie Jones's striking novel...quivers with tension from the opening page...[A] lovely, finely plotted novel, which highlights colorful San Miguel and the complexities of family, loyalty and honesty. The Anger Meridian is at once a suspenseful mystery and a superlatively gripping story of self-discovery."—Shelf Awareness, Starred review
"Jones...has written a compulsively readable novel about a woman who manages to come into her own. With engaging characters, a compelling story, and a seductive sense of place, this is a literary treat."—Booklist
"Jones creates a seething portrait of a narcissistic mother in this story of an adult daughter's attempt to reconcile the appearance of her prosperous and successful family with the harsh reality of a life built on a series of lies....Jones keeps the action churning...but perhaps the novel's greatest feat is Bibi, an all-too-real toxic monster of a mother."—Publishers Weekly
"A fast-paced story of a woman who only stops lying to others once she stops lying to herself."—Kirkus Reviews
"The plot twists in this latest from Jones are intriguing....For readers looking for a lightweight novel for the beach...this book is the prescription."—Library Journal
LIES MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME (2009)
In her riveting memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me, Kaylie Jones—the daughter of author James Jones (From Here to Eternity) and an acclaimed author in her own right (A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Celeste Ascending; As Soon As It Rains)—tells the poignant story of her relationship with her famous father and her alcoholic mother, and of her own struggles with the disease. A true story of privilege, loss, self-discovery, and redemption, Lies My Mother Never Told Me is Jones’s unforgettable account of a not-quite-fairy-tale childhood and adulthood defined by two constants: literature and alcohol.
“A bright, fast-paced memoir with an inviting spirit. There is real immediacy to the family portraits here....There’s also great daughterly love for James Jones, as his daughter sometimes insists on referring to him, and palpable pride in his achievements. ”—Janet Maslin, New York Times
“Unadorned, poignant and honest to the core, Kaylie Jones’ memoir is a light emerging from the shadows of a writing life.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
“Searing, brutally honest....What makes Lies My Mother Never Told Me such an uplifting book despite all the pain and turmoil it recounts is its revelation of how Kaylie Jones has matured as a person in dealing with her twin legacies, literary and alcoholic, and also as a writer.”—Washington Times
“Brilliant, touching…. Absolutely addictive, this story of struggle and triumph is a joy to read, thanks to Jones’s gift for handling dark material with humor and grace…. a treasure for fans of literature and literary memoirs, as well as anyone who’s coped with alcoholics in the family.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Rights: HarperCollins /William Morrow
A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES (1990)
The inspiration for the Merchant Ivory film starring Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey, and Leelee Sobieski, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries is a rich and poignant family story from the daughter of novelist James Jones. Back in print, this new edition includes an author’s introduction reflecting on the process of developing a screenplay from her novel, as well as a previously unpublished chapter, “Mother’s Day,” that was left out of the original Bantam edition.
Based on the author’s early years in Paris with her famous father, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries chronicles the growth of an extraordinary family. Previously the adored only child, Channe finds her world disrupted by the adoption of a French brother, Benoit. This inspired novel explores the complex, volatile relationship between a brother, a sister, a mother, and a father as they confront their own experiences of orphanhood.
“The daughter of James Jones here offers a discerning, brightly written bildungsroman. She writes with sensitivity and compassion. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“Every page is a joy.”—Self Magazine
Rights: Akashic, World
LONG ISLAND NOIR (2012)
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.
Stories by: Jules Feiffer, Matthew McGevna, Nick Mamatas, Kaylie Jones, Qanta Ahmed, Charles Salzberg, Reed Farrel Coleman, Tim McLoughlin, Sarah Weinman, JZ Holden, Richie Narvaez, Sheila Kohler, Jane Ciabattari, Steven Wishnia, Kenneth Wishnia, Amani Scipio, and Tim Tomlinson.
Editor: Kaylie Jones
“There is plenty of mayhem for fans of dark fiction in the pages of Long Island Noir: shootings, killings, all manner of brutality . . . Suburbia may be even meaner than the big city.”—The New York Times
“The latest installment of the ever-expanding Noir series is full of well-written character pieces that shine a light on the seedier corners of Long Island.”—Booklist
“An eclectic and effective mix of seasoned pros . . . The 17 contributors portray a wonderful diversity of people driven to extremes.”—Publishers Weekly
“These tales are perceptive glimpses into how people live out the choices they make . . . No one escapes unscathed, but some wounds are redemptive.”—Kirkus Reviews
Rights: Akashic, World
SPEAK NOW (2003)
Clara Sverdlow has been stalked by Niko Kamenski, her high school lover, for almost twenty years. A recently sober alcoholic in her mid-thirties, she has found happiness in a tenuous new marriage to Mark. Yet the past lurks over them like a great shadow, always encroaching on their happiness. Clara’s father, Viktor, was a Russian political prisoner in Auschwitz. He was involved in the camp underground and helped “organize” much-needed goods to help the prisoners. But he also worked on the train ramps and helped to guide thousands of innocent victims to the gas chambers. The guilt and horror Viktor still carries with him are part of his daughter Clara’s natural composition, something she doesn’t understand and yet accepts as one would a congenital illness. It shapes her every action, and is at the root of her every phobia. Mark has his own demons—a brother dead from a drug overdose, and connections to his hometown heavies, which he can’t seem to break free of.
Yet together they have found a fragile grace. With a miracle baby, they are trying to forget the past and learn to live normally in the world. But Clara’s stalker Niko Kamenski secretly insinuates himself upon their life, with disastrous consequences. Clara and Mark’s only hope is to address the past and confront the present situation before it’s too late.
“Perceptive, gritty, and compelling, this is an absorbing book that dives headfirst into issues facing recovering addicts . . . Beautifully written and richly detailed, it is highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“Although we’ve gotten used to second-generation actors equaling or surpassing the accomplishments of their parents, the same hasn’t happened with second-generation novelist. Nonetheless there are a few . . . and added to their small number ought to be Kaylie Jones.”—New York Times
“Jones’s latest and best novel is impressively researched, very nuanced, and has no false notes.”—East Hampton Star
Rights: Akashic, World
CELESTE ASCENDING (2000)
In this splendid novel, Celeste finds herself engaged to Alex, a wealthy man whose standards are as exacting as her own -- or so she thought. As she begins to question their relationship and herself, Celeste is haunted by painful memories: of her past in well-heeled, blue-blooded Connecticut; of the friends and family who seem to have disappeared from her life; and of Nathan, for whom Celeste still carries a lingering passion. At last coming to terms with the lies and illusions that have propelled her forward for years, Celeste must take responsibility for the choices she has made. She decides to be true to herself -- and so challenges her fiancé, her family, and the very society in which she's steeped.
"Lustrous, elegant prose...[Kaylie Jones] maintains an unsentimental compassion for every one of her characters."—Entertainment Weekly
"Mesmerizing, absorbing -- I felt I was hearing the confidences of a true friend."—Tama Janowitz, author of A Certain Age
"One heavenly read."—People