As Long As She Needs Me by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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									As Long As She Needs Me
Author: Nicholas Weinstock

For ten long years, Oscar Campbell has done everything from picking up his boss's drycleaning to
FedExing her tropical fish. His job as personal assistant to a legendary -- and temperamental -- publisher
in New York City has given him more headaches than leg-ups. Yet none of Oscar's experiences has
prepared him for his greatest challenge: planning his boss's wedding. Juggling his unappreciated duties
as a publishing assistant with those of a pro bono wedding planner, Oscar labors to pull together the
event of the year without falling apart in the process. Help arrives in the form of popular wedding columnist
Lauren LaRose, with whom Oscar strikes a bargain: his editorial expertise for her nuptial advice. As the
two work together to manufacture the romances of others, they will stumble into one of their own.Hilarious
and wise, literate and charming, As Long As She Needs Me is a sparkling fable of love and luck in

To be a person's personal assistant is to be, of course, her boss. While she trumpeted the orders and
wallowed in the recognition, it was he who quietly decided her weekday schedule and predetermined her
weekends; who owned all her secrets, orchestrated her life. She was the Dawn of Dawn Books,
commander of a quavering staff of dozens of adults; but without his scurrying support and whispered
translations she was nothing. She was a cracked figurehead, an empress without clothes, to be mended
and swaddled daily, as we do for the least and most powerful of our species. As he did particularly
well.He dodged a herd of tourists outside the Empire State Building and wove a path through the summer
traffic. It had been months since he'd wandered the city beneath its bright blue rectangles of daylight, as
it was dim at the hour he got to the office, black by the time he left. He hopped over the curb and yanked
at his tie, hunching lower and closer to the bobbing heads of pedestrians. Looking harder around their
feet. With luck it would still be there, undiscovered on the simmering pavement by any hunter or gatherer
other than him. He would find it before she got out of her meeting. He would be back at his desk in time
to photocopy her AmEx bill and chronologically order her messages, to call her limo service and confirm
that there would be none of the smiley driver chitchat of last time. He checked his watch. He had thirty-
four minutes. A tall order, he thought, and mustered a smile.She would have eaten at the customary five-
star landmark, as it was a Thursday lunch, walkable weather. He knew her schedule and preferences
better than he knew his own. At the moment he could barely remember his own. Had he ever slept late?
Gone to plays? Worn a hat? An entire imagined life sparkled before him -- a mirage of four-course
brunches and late-night swing dancing, of lounging about in extra-large pajamas -- before the vision
winked shut. He reached the darkened entrance of Le Pouvoir, swam through the air-conditioning and
past the bronze columns and lemon-draped tables to her usual corner. But it wasn't there. He dropped to
a knee, shoved a chair. Nothing. After double-checking with the busboys and stooping to question the
maître d', he hurried back outside and downtown toward the office, eyes on the sunny blur of the 
sidewalk. Stomach in knots. She would have walked in the shade, it occurred to him, and he loped
across the street.And there it was, by the foot of the mailbox. Hundreds of thousands of dollars
recovered. But that was a bottle cap. A circle of spit on the manhole cover. A plastic earring in the green-
rimmed puddle by the curb. He dabbed his shirt against his chest and glanced again at his watch. He
had been away from his desk for thirty-eight minutes. Forty-six by the time he had almost picked up a
condom, inspected and tossed a Canadian coin. Fourteen, now thirteen, before she'd be out of her
paperback meeting and bawling his name. Ten years of this; but that sort of counting was no help. This
was fun. That was more like it. A field trip. A scavenger hunt. Lucky me, he reconsidered. He mouthed
the words down Madison Avenue. Lucky me, lucky me.At first he'd hated the job. Fresh out of college,
tender to the touch of injustice, he used to name and keep track of her offenses as if compiling a case to
impeach. Nailfilegate. The Cuban Memoir Crisis. Unnamable was the time she'd had him FedEx her
tropical fish, unforgettable the day she took up fencing. His official duty was to keep track of her statistics
and deadlines, to keep her authors and employees and neuroses at bay; yet his chores went well...
Author Bio
Nicholas Weinstock
Nicholas Weinstock is the author of The Secret Love of Sons and the novel As Long As She Needs Me.
His writing has been featured on National Public Radio and in publications including the New York Times
Magazine, The Nation, Vogue, Nerve, Ladies' Home Journal, and Poets & Writers. He is a member of the
council of the Authors Guild, and he works as vice president of comedy development for 20th Century Fox
Television and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the writer Amanda Beesley, and their three children.

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