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ZSH Literary

Lane Zachary

Lane Zachary, a founding partner of The Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency, received her B.A. magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. in English Literature from Boston University. One of the top agents in the country for the representation of writers of serious literary fiction and nonfiction, Zachary is known for her devotion to her authors, providing them with extensive editorial guidance, and helping them to create a body of work that spans a long and successful writing career.

Zachary established her literary reputation early in her career when A Long Fatal Love Chase, an unpublished handwritten novel by Louisa May Alcott, was presented to her for representation. After selling it to Random House for seven figures, she represented The Inheritance (Dutton), the first novel Alcott wrote when she was seventeen-years-old.

Zachary also represents New York Times bestselling author, Ha Jin, who won the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, Waiting (Pantheon), as well as the PEN Hemingway Award for Ocean of Words (Zoland), and a second PEN/Faulkner Award for War Trash (Pantheon). Ha Jin's latest novels, A Free Life and Nanjing Requiem, are also published by Pantheon. Zachary represents Lavanya Sankaran for her novel The Hope Factory and her short story collection, The Red Carpet (Dial); Allison Lynn for her novels The Exiles (Little A) and Now You See It (Touchtone); and Jessica Lott for her novel The Rest of Us (Simon & Schuster).

As an agent of nonfiction, Zachary is particularly interested in memoir, current events, history, biography and psychology. Some of the memoirs she is particularly proud of include Gail Caldwell's New York Times bestseller, Let's Take the Long Way Home (Random House); Tracy Ross's The Source of All Things (Free Press); New York Times writer Dan Barry's Pull Me Up (W.W. Norton); and Elizabeth Kendall's Autobiography of a Wardrobe (Pantheon). In the field of history and biography, Zachary has represented Joshua Kendall's The Man Who Made Lists: A Biography of Peter Roget (Putnam); Hazel Rowley's Franklin and Eleanor: Portrait of an Extraordinary Marriage (Farrar Straus and Giroux); Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy by Peter Canellos and The Boston Globe (Simon & Schuster), and Doug Most's The Race Underground (St. Martin's Press), the story of the race between Boston and New York to build the first American subway system. Zachary also represents Dr. William Thomas's Second Wind (Simon & Schuster) which explores the ways in which Baby Boomers will create a new developmental stage as they age, and Dr. Carolyn Bernstein's The Migraine Brain (Free Press). Zachary also represents Norah O'Donnell, Chief White House correspondent for CBS News. Zachary is looking for books of nonfiction and fiction that are beautifully crafted and have the capacity to change the way we see and live in the world.

Marmee & Louisa
By Eve LaPlante | Free Press, 2012

Marmee & Louisa, hailed by NPR as one of the best books of 2012, paints an exquisitely moving and utterly convincing portrait of Louisa May Alcott and her mother, the real "Marmee." Award-winning biographer Eve LaPlante mines the Alcotts' intimate diaries and other private papers, some recently discovered in a family attic and others thought to have been destroyed, to revive this remarkable daughter and mother. This gorgeously written story of two extraordinary women is guaranteed to transform our view and deepen our understanding of one of America's most beloved authors.

The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis
By Fouad Ajami | Free Press, 2006

Fouad Ajami, one of the world's foremost authorities on Middle Eastern politics, offers a brilliant, illuminating, and lyrical portrait of the ongoing struggle for Iraq and of the American encounter with that volatile Arab land.

Invisible Men: Men's Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence
By Michael Addis | Times Books, 2011

Award-winning research psychologist Michael E. Addis identifies and provides answers surrounding the long-unspoken epidemic of silence and vulnerability in men.

What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life
By Jane Scovell | Thorndike Biography, 2015

Six-time Emmy Award-winning funny man Tim Conway, best known for his roles on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious bestselling memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian.

Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice
By Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy | W. W. Norton & Co., 2013

A New York Times Bestseller

Raised in a South Boston housing project, James "Whitey" Bulger became the most wanted fugitive of his generation. In this riveting story, rich with family ties and intrigue, award-winning Boston Globe reporters Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy follow Whitey's extraordinary criminal career—from teenage thievery to bank robberies to the building of his underworld empire and a string of brutal murders.

Based on exclusive access and previously undisclosed documents, Cullen and Murphy explore the truth of the Whitey Bulger story. They reveal for the first time the extent of his two parallel family lives with different women, as well as his lifelong paranoia stemming in part from his experience in the CIA's MKULTRA program. They describe his support of the IRA and his hitherto-unknown role in the Boston busing crisis, and they show a keen understanding of his mindset while on the lam and behind bars. The result is the first full portrait of this legendary criminal figure—a gripping story of wiseguys and cops, horrendous government malfeasance, and a sixteen-year manhunt that climaxed in Whitey's dramatic capture in Santa Monica in June 2011. With a new afterword covering the trial, this book promises to become a true-crime classic.

By Ha Jin | Pantheon, 2000

Winner: National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award; Finalist: Pulitzer Prize

The demands of human longing contend with the weight of centuries of custom in acclaimed author Ha Jin's Waiting, a novel of unexpected richness and universal resonance. Every summer Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese Army, returns to his village to end his loveless marriage with the humble and touchingly loyal Shuyu. But each time Lin must return to the city to tell Manna Wu, the educated, modern nurse he loves, that they will have to postpone their engagement once again. Caught between conflicting claims of these two utterly different women and trapped by a culture in which adultery can ruin lives and careers, Lin has been waiting for eighteen years. This year, he promises, will be different.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
By Marina Keegan | Scribner, 2014

A New York Times Bestseller

An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assem­blage of Marina's essays and stories that, like "The Last Lecture," articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

The Inheritance
By Louisa May Alcott | Dutton/Penguin, 1997

Louisa May Alcott, who spent much of her childhood amid an intellectual circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, embarked on her own literary efforts at an early age. Her recently discovered first novel, The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just 17, offers readers a fascinating look at the birth of a remarkable career. Influenced by the melodrama of the contemporary theater, the sentimental romances she read as a child, and the popular gothic novels of the time, Alcott weaves a tale far removed from the reality of her everyday life in Boston. The Inheritance, set in an English country manor, is the story of Edith Adelon, an Italian orphan brought to England by Lord Hamilton as a companion for his children. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, Alcott's plot sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor—and with the help of a secret inheritance, allows virtue to prevail. In their Introduction, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy relate their fortuitous discovery of Alcott's manuscript draft of The Inheritance (preserved at the Houghton Library of Harvard). They explore the forces—both literary and personal—that shaped the novel, and study how it foreshadowed Alcott's later work.

Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
By Gail Caldwell | Random House, 2010

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"It's an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too."

So begins this gorgeous memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell, a testament to the power of friendship, a story of how an extraordinary bond between two women can illuminate the loneliest, funniest, hardest moments in life, including the final and ultimate challenge.

They met over their dogs. Both writers, Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp, author of Drinking: A Love Story, became best friends, talking about everything from their shared history of a struggle with alcohol, to their relationships with men and colleagues, to their love of books. They walked the woods of New England and rowed on the Charles River, and the miles they logged on land and water became a measure of the interior ground they covered. From disparate backgrounds but with striking emotional similarities, these two private, fiercely self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen.

The friendship helped them define the ordinary moments of life as the ones worth cherishing. Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion and grief in this moving memoir about treasuring and losing a best friend. Let's Take the Long Way Home is a celebration of life and of the transformations that come from intimate connection—and it affirms, once again, why Gail Caldwell is recognized as one of our bravest and most honest literary voices.

A Map of Betrayal
By Ha Jin | Pantheon, 2014

When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father's diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary, an astonishing chronicle of his journey as a Communist intelligence agent, reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed—and point to a hidden second family that he’d left behind in China. As Lilian follows her father's trail back into the Chinese provinces, she begins to grasp the extent of his dilemma: he is a man torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country. She sees how his sense of duty distorted his life, and as she starts to understand that Gary too had been betrayed, Lilian finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from endangering yet another generation of Shangs.

A stunning portrait of a multinational family and an unflinching inquiry into the meaning of citizenship, patriotism, and home, A Map of Betrayal is a spy novel that only Ha Jin could write.