Lily and the Octopus
Film Rights to Amazon Studios
An Indie Next Pick
A Library Reads Pick
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month
Sold in Translation in 19 Countries
“Reading this heart-wrenching but ultimately breathtaking novel was a very profound experience…. As Lily might say, ‘YOU! MUST! READ! THIS! BOOK!’” — The Washington Post
Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.
When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.
The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details.
We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.
For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.
Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.
Remember the last book you told someone they had to read?
Lily and the Octopus is the next one.
Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus. He has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Published by Simon & Schuster in 2016.
More praise for Lily and the Octopus:
“Sensitive, hilarious, and emotionally rewarding.... The intimacy of pet ownership is sweetly suffused throughout this heartwarming autobiographical fiction... In generous helpings of bittersweet humanity, Rowley has written an immensely poignant and touchingly relatable tale that readers (particularly animal lovers) will love.” — Publishers Weekly
“Steven Rowley’s touching, fresh, energetic novel isn’t simply another ‘boy and his dog’ story. It is a profound exploration of grief—how we find ourselves lost, how we search for reason, how we sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones, all to avoid paying the octopus. But the octopus will be paid. And in settling that debt, in the magical, hopeful world of Lily and the Octopus, we will learn to live—and love—again. A wonderfully moving story.”
— Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“An exceedingly authentic, keenly insightful, and heartbreakingly poignant tribute to the purity of love between a pet and its human.”
— Booklist, starred review
“A quirky and deeply affecting charmer of a novel, Lily and the Octopus is funny, wise, and utterly original in its exploration of what it means to love any mortal creature. This brave little dachshund will capture your heart, as will her prickly, tenderhearted, and irresistible owner. Don't miss their adventures together.” — Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants
“Startlingly imaginative...‘Lily and the Octopus’ is a love story sure to assert its place in the canine lit pack...Be prepared for outright laughs and searing or silly moments of canine and human recognition. And grab a tissue: THERE! WILL! BE! EYE! RAIN!” — Newsday
“Singular, spectacular, and touchingly tentacular.” — Chris Cleave, bestselling author of Little Bee
“You will tear through this big-hearted, inventive novel. A fast and funny read that also happens to be a profound meditation on love and forgiveness, Lily and the Octopus is a delight.” —Christina Baker Kline, bestselling author of Orphan Train
“Intelligently written, finely observed, and surprisingly moving, this is a book you’ll find hard to put down.” — Graeme Simsion, bestselling author of The Rosie Project
“A whimsical, touching tale” —People
“My favorite book of the year: Steven Rowley's Lily and the Octopus. Hilarious, heartbreaking. You will absolutely cry and you will love it."
— Patrick Ness, bestselling author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here
“In his funny, ardent and staunchly kooky way, Rowley expresses exactly what it's like to love a dog.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Rowley shares a moving, profound tale of grappling with loss.” — Real Simple
“Portland’s Steven Rowley strikes a chord in a moving book about heartache and friendship that is expected to be a big seller this summer.”
— Portland Press Herald
“The connection between man and dog is loud and clear in this sweet novel…” — Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Film Rights Sold to Fox 2000
"At turns equally laugh-out-loud funny and searingly poignant, Rowley has created a truly unforgettable story of a son trying to understand his mother. The Editor is one of those exceptional stories that is both a joy to read on every page and also deeply profound and significant. It took my breath away."—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones and the Six
From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.
After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie--or Mrs. Onassis, as she's known in the office--has fallen in love with James's candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book's forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can't bring himself to finish the manuscript.
Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page...
From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a funny, poignant, and highly original novel about an author whose relationship with his very famous book editor will change him forever--both as a writer and a son.
To be published by Penguin Putnam in April, 2019
More praise for The Editor:
“A winning dissection of family, forgiveness, and fame.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Told with warmth and humor, Steven Rowley's charming second novel tells the story of a mother-son reconciliation, facilitated by a most unlikely fairy godmother. The Editor offers a delightful fictional glimpse of an iconic American family—but it is, at heart, a tribute to every family whose last name isn't Kennedy.” — Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists
“The Editor is an absolute triumph! By page three, I announced aloud, 'I LOVE THIS BOOK.' Rowley is a master of creating characters you fall in love with and never want to leave.” — Julie Klam, author of The Stars In Our Eyes
“The Editor will have you weeping tears of joy when it's not quietly breaking your heart. It's a study of mothers and sons, unlikely friendships, and how we go about collecting the scattered pieces of our pasts. It takes guts, humor, and immense talent to write a book like this. Lucky for us, Rowley has plenty of all three.” — Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding
“What fun! This droll and wonderfully poignant book gives you full access to one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century. A delight.”
— Henry Alford, author of And Then We Danced
“This funny, warm, and thought-provoking novel is the next best thing to having Jackie O. around to make us see how the larger-than-life characters in our own histories—our mothers—are as human, fallible, and as prone to heartbreak as us kids. Keep tissues handy. I had to use a bedsheet.”
— Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me
“The Editor is an absolute delight from start to finish. Steven Rowley writes such evocative, compelling characters, and his ability to buck the cliche in favor of true nuanced emotion is a gift. Rowley's portrayal of the unconventional relationship between a charmingly uncertain James Smale and the one and only Mrs. Onassis made me laugh, nod and eventually, cry. I adored this book!” — Sally Hepworth, author of The Mother-in-Law
Photo of Steven Rowley by Matthew Allard