Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Harper Lee

From author Mark Childress, posted on his Facebook Page:  

Folks, for those of you who have asked, I am only a slight acquaintance of Harper Lee and not a friend, though she has been kind to me at various junctures in my career. I have not read her new book and have not seen her in years.

I trust my longtime friend and international agent Andrew Nurnberg (I'm his OTHER client from Monroeville), who saw her just a couple weeks ago and reports that she is "feisty and fiery" and delighted about the publication of her "new" old book. Here is a statement he released yesterday:

"There will inevitably be speculation regarding Harper Lee as she has lived a very private life," he said. "She was genuinely surprised at the discovery of the manuscript but delighted by the suggestion to publish what she considers to be the 'parent' to 'Mockingbird.' I met with her last autumn and again over two days in January; she was in great spirits and increasingly excited at the prospect of this novel finally seeing the light of day."

Andrew tells me the novel is "really fine." So I think folks can quit worrying so much.

Meet Nelle Harper Lee's attorney - the woman who found the "new" manuscript - http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2015/02/04/meet-the-lawyer-who-found-harper-lees-new-novel/

I found this interview with an Alabama historian, and friend of Harper Lee's to be quite interesting -- http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/02/new_harper_lee_book_totally_le.html

Note:  More about this story from the NYT  here:  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/books/harper-lee-author-of-to-kill-a-mockingbird-is-to-publish-a-new-novel.html?referrer&_r=0.  

The below article was copied From BBC News -

I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

I adore Harper Lee and have read everything I have ever been able to find written about her.

This after I was swept off my feet, like millions of others, after reading To Kill a Mockingbird many, many years ago.

I wrote her a fan letter some years back and almost fell over in a swoon when I received a short, elegant note back from her. It's one of my most prized possessions -


There's more to the story.

I also received this note

I'm not sure why I got two notes, and the only thing I can guess, is that Ms. Lee was perhaps answering fan mail and somehow sent me two.  Whatever may have been the reason, I was thrilled. 

And still am.


Reading this bit of news about a new Harper Lee novel being found and published has tickled me to death.

And yes, I do plan on reading "Mockingbird" again before the new Harper Lee is released. How 'bout you?

Harper Lee to publish Mockingbird 'sequel'

To Kill a Mockingbird is among the most beloved novels in history

An unpublished novel by Harper Lee is to finally see the light of day, 60 years after the US author put it aside to write To Kill a Mockingbird.

Go Set a Watchman, which features the character Scout Finch as an adult, will be released on 14 July.

Lee wrote it in the mid-1950s but put it aside on the advice of her editor.

"I thought it a pretty decent effort." said Lee in a statement. "I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

Set in the fictional southern town of Maycomb during the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman sees Scout return from New York to visit her father, the lawyer Atticus Finch.

According to the publisher's announcement: "She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood."

To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961

Lee's editor persuaded her to rework some of the story's flashback sequences as a novel in their own right - and that book became To Kill a Mockingbird.

"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told," the author revealed.

The manuscript was discovered last autumn, attached to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird.

"I hadn't realised it [the original book] had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it," Lee continued.

"After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication."

Harper Collins plans an initial print run of two million copies.

To Kill a Mockingbird was published in July 1960 and won a Pulitzer Prize. Two years later it was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck.

Lee has rarely spoken to the media since the 1960s and is unlikely to do any publicity for her "new" book.

'Extraordinary gift'

In a statement, Harper Collins' Jonathan Burnham called Go Set a Watchman "a remarkable literary event" whose "discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of To Kill a Mockingbird".

He said: "Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee's classic novel, it is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter's relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s."

Go Set a Watchman will be published in the UK by William Heinemann, the original UK publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Tom Weldon, of parent company Penguin Random House, said its publication would be "a major event".

"The story of this first book - both parent to To Kill a Mockingbird and rather wonderfully acting as its sequel - is fascinating," he continued.

"Millions of fans around the world will have the chance to reacquaint themselves with Scout, her father Atticus and the prejudices and claustrophobia of that small town in Alabama Harper Lee conjures so brilliantly."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just read about this on my P.W. email. What a piece of news! I'm sure every writer on the planet will want to read this! I have a feeling she wd be your guest as a blogger - you might contact her asap - after the pub date she might be forbidden by her legal eagles... T. Straw