Fiction has always taken a fancy to the Kennedys and anyone associated with them. This season, two novels reimagine the world of Mary Pinchot Meyer, a celebrated beauty best known for her affair with John F. Kennedy.
Married to a high-ranking CIA official named Cord Meyer, Pinchot Meyer and her husband first met the Kennedys in 1954 when they lived next door to them in Georgetown; she used to go on walks with Jackie Kennedy. By 1958, the Meyers were divorced, and Pinchot Meyer had embarked on a new life in the area as a painter and well-bred ingenue known for being flirty and fun.
In 1961, she visited President Kennedy in the Oval Office, and their affair began. She also began keeping a diary.
“I think he might have thought more of her than some of the other women and discussed things that were on his mind, not just social gossip,” aide Myer Feldman would say of their relationship. Others would say that the president had been in love with her. Pinchot Meyer was killed on October 12, 1964, a few weeks after the release of the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination. The man accused of her murder was acquitted in 1965; the murder remains unsolved. Her diary was found and allegedly burned.
JFK and Mary Meyer
Jesse Kornbluth (fiction, Skyhorse)
Working from a timeline of the JFK presidency and every publicly documented aspect of Pinchot Meyer’s relationship with Kennedy, Kornbluth reimagines the contents of her diary in this thriller, inviting speculation as to who really killed her — and why.
The Lost Diary of M
Paul Wolfe (fiction, Harper)
Takes a look at Pinchot Meyer as an early feminist and rule-breaker, a woman who was sexually adventurous, took LSD with Timothy Leary and lived an artistic lifestyle in Cold War-era Georgetown.