Joey lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she works with writers and independent publishers—including Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, and Minnesota Historical Society Press—to bring grace, polish, and structure to fiction and nonfiction. She also teaches at the Loft Literary Center, writes book reviews for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and has served as a judge for the Minnesota Book Awards. Before her move west in 2014, she spent six years as an editor in the Alfred A. Knopf and Ballantine Bantam Dell imprints of Penguin Random House. She has worked with winners of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, New York Times bestselling authors, and other writers of distinguished fiction and nonfiction.
What kind of editor is Joey? Joey believes you serve the writer by serving the book. She’s not afraid to dig in and get her hands dirty to help writers get their sentences and paragraphs just right. But she also believes the editor’s role is to be the writer’s most attentive reader and listener. She loves to brainstorm and riff with writers in person, over the phone, or online. She loves to be a first sounding board for ideas. And she loves to tease out themes and arguments in a manuscript that might be latent or underdeveloped. Joey sees books not just as works in progress but as the finished products they eventually will be, and so she edits for depth as well as clarity, reading simultaneously as editor, critic, and scholar.
“Working with Joey McGarvey is a privilege and a joy. She reads manuscripts with intelligence, insight, and wisdom, and has the clear-eyed focus that every author craves in an editor. An author's life is crowded with innumerable details, tasks, and responsibilities, and Joey is on top of everything, patient, organized, and effortless. I hope to have the pleasure of working with her again.” —Laura Hillenbrand, author of the New York Times-bestselling UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION
“Joey McGarvey is a wonderfully diligent and attentive editor. I have seen her work on projects both large and small. She reads closely and sensitively, with her finger on the contemporary cultural pulse. I’m quite sure that she will help shepherd many fine books into existence.” —Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN and TRANSATLANTIC
“Joey McGarvey is an extraordinary editor—smart and thoughtful, with an unerring eye. I have never had a closer edit than the one Joey gave my manuscript. She considered every word and every sentence. Joey was a delight to work with and I felt a great deal of comfort knowing she was watching over this manuscript. Joey did what any writer wants an editor to do—she made the book better. I’m forever grateful.” —Ellen McCarthy, author of THE REAL THING: LESSONS ON LOVE AND LIFE FROM A WEDDING REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK
“Working with Joey McGarvey as my editor has been a joy. She is highly intelligent, quick, sensitive, and tactful, respectful of the author’s text and what he wishes to achieve. Any author will count himself or herself lucky to have her as an editor.” —Louis Begley, author of MEMORIES OF A MARRIAGE and and ABOUT SCHMIDT
“Joey McGarvey is a wonder! She knows how to oversee an infinity of details and fine points while never losing sight of the big picture and how to shape it. She has a fine ear for language and also an exceptional talent for 'seeing' the book, imagining how it should look physically and how that relates to the text. It's a rare combination. She is deeply literary, committed, and passionate about her work.” —Rhonda Garelick, author of MADEMOISELLE: COCO CHANEL AND THE PULSE OF HISTORY
Worked on a broad list of fiction and nonfiction, both literary and commercial, with authors including Louis Begley, Diana Gabaldon, Rhonda Garelick, Emily Giffin, Stephen Hawking, Laura Hillenbrand, David Liss, Colum McCann, Ellen McCarthy, Susan Orlean, Jodi Picoult, Curtis Sittenfeld, and Karin Slaughter.
Worked on a literary nonfiction list, with authors including Andre Agassi, Tony Blair, Raymond Bonner, Kate Buford, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Ted Conover, Dexter Filkins, Louisa Gilder, George Johnson, Judith Jones, Robert G. Kaiser, Nicholas D. Kristof, Eric Lax, Robert B. Reich, David K. Shipler, T. J. Stiles, Duncan Wall, and Sheryl WuDunn.
From a Washington Post weddings reporter who’s covered more than two hundred walks down the aisle comes a warm, witty, and wise book about relationships—the mystery, the science, and the secrets of how we find love and make it last. Ellen McCarthy has explored the complete journey of our timeless quest for “The One,” the Soul Mate, the Real Thing. This indispensable collection of insights—on d... read more
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete becam... read more
The first comprehensive biography of the legendary figure who defined excellence in American sports: Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest all-around athlete in U.S. history. With clarity and an eye for detail, Kate Buford traces the pivotal moments of Thorpe’s incomparable career: growing up in the tumultuous Indian Territory of Oklahoma; leading the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football tea... read more
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the YearWhen Duncan Wall visited his first nouveau cirque as a college student in Paris, everything about it—the monochromatic costumes, the acrobats singing Simon and Garfunkel, the juggler reciting Proust—hooked him. Soon he was attending circuses two or three nights a week, and soon after that, he entered the intensively competitive training program ... read more
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower—the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii—a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of Amer... read more
NATIONAL BESTSELLERCertain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking cha... read more
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LIBRARY JOURNALThe bestselling author of such novels as A Conspiracy of Paper and The Whiskey Rebels continues his masterly run of “atmospheric” (The Washington Post), “page-turning” (The Baltimore Sun), “tremendously smart” (Newsweek) historical thrillers. In The Day of Atonement, David Liss blends meticulous period detail with crackling adventure in... read more
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWSIn the National Book Award–winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called “an emotional tour de force.” Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclai... read more
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY Slate • Daily Candy • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian (U.K.)“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about Sisterland is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood.”—Maggie Shipstead, The Washington Post “Psychological... read more
By the author of the beloved Schmidt series, Memories of a Marriage is a penetrating look at class and privilege, shifting from Paris to Manhattan, Long Island to Newport. Mourning his wife and daughter, and on the edge of old age, Philip reencounters an astonishing woman from his past: Lucy De Bourgh, an heiress who was once a passionate debutante and the intimate of many men, including Phili... read more
Life could toss your sanity about like a glass ball; books were a cushion. How on Earth did non-readers cope when they had nowhere to turn?”Nell Stillman’s road is not easy. When her boorish husband dies soon after they move to the small town of Harvester, Minnesota, Nell is alone, penniless yet responsible for her beloved baby boy, Hillyard. Not an easy fate in small-town America at the begi... read more
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Veteran copy editor for leading New York City publishers who enjoys collaborating with writers to make their work the best it can be.
Over 20 years of working with successful fiction, inspiring memoirs and narrative non-fiction as a literary agent and editor.