The Blackmailer's Guide to Love
Publisher: Delphinium Books
In 1970s New York, a woman finds professional success and personal disillusionment: “Sparkling . . . Looks back on the heyday of glossy magazine publishing.” —Publishers Weekly One of the many Ivy League graduates with literary ambitions who flock to New York City every year, twenty-five-year-old Melissa Fleischer has the great fortune to be hired as the assistant to high-profile magazine editor Austin Bloch. But after she begins her career with the prestigious publication, Mel learns the extravagantly long lunches her boss often indulges in are actually disguising his affairs with a stream of young women. Mel is left in the distressing position of lying about these never-ending betrayals to Austin’s wife, Hillarie, who often calls while he is out of the office. Then, unexpectedly, the New Yorker begins printing Mel’s short stories, offering a spectacular start to what she hopes will be a long and fruitful writing career. Unfortunately, the exhilaration of being published by the magazine she reveres most is soon diminished—by both Mel’s deeply painful discovery that her own relationship, like Austin’s, is far from idyllic, and her continuing complicity in Austin’s betrayals. And nothing seems more difficult than the effort it will take to keep her marriage from falling apart in this novel by an author who “writes so brilliantly of the battle of the sexes” (The New York Times Book Review).