The Associated Press
OAK BLUFFS, Mass. ─Dorothy West's novel, ''The Wedding,'' is dedicated to her editor, about whom the author writes: ''Though there was never such a mismatched pair in appearance, we were perfect partners.''
The editor's name? Jackie Onassis.
''I'll never forget this,'' said West, 87, whose novel was published by Doubleday, where Onassis worked until her death last May. ''My telephone rang and it was this girl saying, 'Dorothy, I sold your book to Mrs. Onassis. And about five minutes later, the telephone rang and it was Mrs. Onassis, telling me how happy she was to have the book.''
Every Monday, West recalled, Onassis would drive her blue jeep up to West's house, sometimes getting lost on the way.
''She was a beautiful person. I'm honest. I don't lie: That's the old school. And, of course, she came from the old school. Also, she's a learner. She was curious. I would tell her a story about someone and she would say, 'Oh, you must put that in the book,''' said West, a Boston native and the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance.
''I would tell her little things about myself. I told her how I didn't like my name. She told me she hated her name. The point is I never asked her why she hated her name ─ maybe people who didn't know her thought she was a boy.''
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