Pub Date: June 6, 2023

Author: M. J. Moore

Star-Crossed Lovers
is an immersive account of young novelist James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity, and his lover, Mrs. Lowney Handy. The maverick small-town Illinois woman’s alliance with Jones helped secure his Army discharge and her home became a haven for Jones as the ordeal of writing his blockbuster novel consumed years of their lives.

Legendary New York author and critic Seymour Krim once wrote: “It is impossible to think of the writing of Eternity without the tutelary presence of this tough, courageous, unconventional woman who was 17 years older than Jones and had the encouragement of her husband in one of the strangest arrangements on record. With Jones’s financial help, Lowney Handy went on to found a writing colony in Marshall, Illinois, which she ran like a literary boot camp, and many of her stubborn ideas were to remain with Jones for a lifetime. She was a powerful, magnetic presence . . . a determined, ‘liberated’ woman out of sync with her time and place, and she paid the bitter price.”

“I did read Star-Crossed Lovers with great interest. Fascinating story—kept my interest throughout. My congratulations to you . . .”
—OLIVER STONE, Academy Award-winning writer/director of “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “JFK,” and other films; author of the novel A Child’s Night Dream and the memoir Chasing the Light; and Purple Heart veteran of the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division

“Oh, to be young and a writer and finding your way with an exotic older woman! M. J. Moore’s Star-Crossed Lovers is an incredible tale of James Jones, his novel From Here to Eternity, and the years he spent under the spell of his lover, Lowney Handy.  Indispensable!”
—LUCIAN K. TRUSCOTT IV, author of Dress Gray, Heart of War, and other novels; Village Voice staff writer; Class of ’69 West Point graduate

“In today’s age of flimsy comic-book characters passing for superheroes, it is life-affirming—hell, it’s vital—to recall the red-blooded humanity James Jones poured into his 1951 National Book Award-winning From Here to Eternity. How the semi-autobiographical novel made its way before an eager public provides much of the spine of M. J. Moore’s enlightening Star-Crossed Lovers . . . but the narrative offers so much more.  At its core is an iconoclastic love story that provides further ammunition to Jones’s recurring theme of the individual versus society—all of which Moore soundly spells out in engaging and impressively researched detail.”
—STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN, author of David Lean; The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America; and Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies

“How fascinating to discover in Star-Crossed Lovers that my father, Joseph Heller, and young James Jones both attended NYU on the GI Bill at the same time. More fascinating is the downright surreal story of Jones and Lowney Handy, and what they
—ERICA HELLER (author of Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a Catch-22, and One Last Lunch ~ A Final Meal with Those Who Meant So Much To Us)

“M. J. Moore takes the reader deep inside one of the most fascinating relationships in the history of American literature. Star-Crossed Lovers offers insight into the lives of both Jones and Handy, and reveals that the creative process is very much intertwined with the human spirit. This is an important book that will inspire you. Get it and read it now.”
—T. J. ENGLISH (New York Times Best-selling author of Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld, Havana Nocturne, and The Westies)