Ex-Wife's Novel Details Taylor's Marital Breakup

Publisher of ex-wife's A Stopover in Venice downplays a big selling point
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 6:53 PM CDT
James Taylor sings the national anthem before Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies Oct. 25, 2007, at Fenway Park in Boston.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Book-jacket fodder that could alone put a novel on the bestseller list is curiously absent from Kathryn Walker’s debut, A Stopover in Venice, Celia McGee notes in the New York Times—though it’s a fictional account of her unhappy marriage to James Taylor. The musician comes in for a “not very flattering” portrait, McGee writes, as does first ex-wife Carly Simon.

In addition to Taylor, actor Jason Robards and National Lampoon founder Douglas Kenney (an ex-boyfriend of Walker’s) directly inspire characters in the novel—parallels that have been lost on pre-publication reviewers. Walker’s agent says the low-profile marketing strategy was deliberate, so that she can “be seen as a serious writer, not as the author of an autobiographical novel about her famous ex-husband.”