During the first half of 1964, just months after her husband was assassinated, Jacqueline Kennedy sat for seven interviews with historian and family friend Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Speaking at her home in Washington, D.C., the former first lady discussed her marriage and her White House years, election year campaigning and President Kennedy's thoughts about a second term. The interview is part of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library's Oral History and, at Mrs. Kennedy's request, was kept sealed for an indefinite time. Since the death of Jacqueline Kennedy, in 1994, and son John Kennedy, Jr., in 1999, decisions about the tapes have been handled by daughter Caroline Kennedy.
Now, with the 50th anniversary of her father's inauguration coming next year, Caroline Kennedy is allowing the conversations to come out.
According to two officials familiar with negotiations, Hyperion will issue the transcripts in September 2011 and release 6½ hours of audiotape, providing a new and extended opportunity to hear the famously breathy voice of Jacqueline Kennedy, who never published a memoir, about subjects she rarely discussed in public.
The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deal.
Caroline Kennedy will serve as editor and write an introduction for the book, currently untitled, and a historian, who is yet to be determined, will provide annotation.
Schlesinger, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, died in 2007.
Caroline Kennedy has published several books with Hyperion, including a collection of her mother's favorite poems, and has worked for years with editor Gretchen Young, who acquired the book and audio and electronic rights.