Kendra Harpster

Executive Editor
New York Times-bestselling editor and former executive editor at Penguin Random House

Kendra Harpster is a former Executive Editor at Penguin Random House who has acquired and edited a wide range of fiction and memoir, including numerous award-winning and New York Times-bestselling books.

She began her 20+ year publishing career in 1999 at Doubleday, where she assisted the Editor-in-Chief. In the years following, she rose up the ranks of editorial departments at Doubleday, Random House, Viking Books, and Berkley Books (Penguin Random House). Her list of notable and bestselling authors includes Kim Edwards, Rachel Joyce, Jim Lehrer, Kurt Andersen, Garrison Keillor, Mira Jacob, Susan Vreeland, Liz Moore, Mark Haddon, David Rakoff, and many others. While at Viking, she discovered and edited the first three thrillers by New York Times-bestselling author Tana French.

Kendra’s love of fiction and narrative nonfiction extends the full range of what the genres encompass–from literary fiction to commercial women’s fiction to graphic novels to thrillers and memoir.  She loves the editorial process and feels the most fulfilled when working deep within the lines of a novel or work of narrative nonfiction. Assisting a writer in developing their work is rewarding and she finds satisfaction in helping to bring writers and their work to the next editorial level.

You can learn more about Kendra on LinkedIn.

Selected Publications


  • Editor, Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets (Berkley, 2016)
  • Editor, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner (Berkley, 2016)
  • Editor, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (Random House, 2014)
  • Editor, Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House, 2014)
  • Editor, Perfect by Rachel Joyce (Random House, 2014)
  • Editor, The Village by Nikita Lalwani (Random House, 2013)
  • Editor, Top Down by Jim Lehrer (Random House, 2013)
  • Editor, The Tin Horse by Janice Steinberg (Random House, 2013)
  • Editor, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Random House, 2012)
    • New York Times bestseller

  • Editor, True Believers by Kurt Andersen (Random House, 2012)
  • Editor, The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards (Penguin Books, 2010)
  • Editor, Faithful Place by Tana French (Penguin Books, 2010)
    • New York Times bestseller

  • Editor, The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek (Viking, 2010)
  • Editor, Mice by Gordon Reece (Viking, 2010)
  • Editor, Days of Grace by Catherine Hall (Viking, 2010)
  • Editor, On the Divinity of Second Chances by Kaya McLaren (Penguin Books, 2009)
  • Editor, Liberty by Garrison Keillor (Viking, 2008)
  • Editor, Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren (Penguin Books, 2008)
  • Editor, The Likeness by Tana French (Penguin Books, 2008)
    • New York Times bestseller

  • Editor, In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Books, 2007)
    • New York Times bestseller

  • Editor, The Secret of the Fire King by Kim Edwards (Penguin Books, 2007)
  • Editor, Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him by Danielle Ganek (Viking, 2007)
  • Editor, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland (Penguin Books, 2007)
  • Editor, The Words of Every Song by Liz Moore (Broadway Books, 2007)
  • Editor, Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen (Broadway Books, 2006)
  • Editor, Too Beautiful for You by Rod Liddle (Broadway Books, 2003)


  • Editor, Empty by Susan Burton (Random House, 2020)
  • Editor, Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex by Hephzibah Anderson (Viking, 2010)
  • Editor, Live Strong: Inspiring Stories From Cancer Survivors From—Diagnosis to Treatment and Beyond by The Lance Armstrong Foundation (Broadway Books, 2005)


  • Editor, Woof!: Writers on Dogs edited by Lee Montgomery (Viking, 2008)

Contributed editorial work to books by Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, Aimee Bender, Mark Haddon, Heidi Julavits, Scott Anderson, Edward Rutherfurd, David Rakoff, David Shenk, Hampton Sides, Russell Shorto and Stewart O’Nan.