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  1. #1
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    Necron99's Avatar
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    Harper Lee announcement of To Kill a Mockingbird sequel met with scepticism

    THE book that has taken the literary world by storm over the past 24 hours lay dormant for almost sixty years. So why is it being published now?

    Harper Lee, author of the classic 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, announced via a statement overnight that Go Set a Watchmen will be released on July 14.
    But the announcement posed as many questions as it answered about the reclusive author and why she chose to publish now, at age 88, after all these years.
    The death of her sister Alice might hold the answer.

    304 PAGES THAT MAY HAVE NEVER BEEN READ
    The 304-page book will be Lee’s second, and the first new work in more than 50 years. The publisher, Harper Collins, plans a first printing of two million copies.
    Lee explained her decision to publish after so many years in a statement released overnight.
    “In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman,” the 88-year-old Lee said.
    “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became To Kill a Mockingbird) from the point of view of the young Scout.

    “I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realised (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. 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. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”
    Michael Morrison, president and publisher of HarperCollins US General Books Group said in a statement that he “always wished Harper Lee had written another book”.
    He got his wish.

    ‘LEE FOUND HERSELF BEING SWINDLED REPEATEDLY’
    Harper Lee kept to herself following the success of her first novel, despite demands from the public to advance her resume. Forty million copies of the book would be sold, but a second book was not forthcoming. Much of that reportedly had to do with her sister Alice who, until her death late last year, kept Harper shielded from the advances of publishers.
    Blogger Zois Wells wrote what many were thinking. “To a cynic, it seems all a little too coincidental that soon after the woman who’d kept her out of trouble for so long died, Harper Lee signed an agreement to release a manuscript she’d forgot for nearly sixty years,” she wrote.

    “Harper Lee found herself being swindled repeatedly by the publishing industry and by those around her, it was Alice Lee who kept her from signing things she didn’t fully understand.”
    The New York Times reported Alice, a lawyer, was Lee’s “companion and her protector from the prying eyes of the public.”
    Jezebel suggested Alice’s death “(left) the intensely private author (who herself is reportedly in ill health) vulnerable to people who may not have her best interests at heart”.
    Financial terms of the deal between Lee and her publisher were not disclosed but her publisher admitted he did not speak directly with Lee.
    “We talked to her through her lawyer and friend Tonja Carter,” Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president of Harper said.

    WAS TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD PENNED BY A ‘GHOST WRITER’?
    The release of Go Set a Watchman is expected to reignite speculation that Lee’s first novel was “ghost written” by her childhood friend Truman Capote, who would go on to write a number of books including Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) before his death in 1984.
    The pair grew up together in Monroeville, Alabama, where they were neighbours. One of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird was even based on him.
    Later in life, Lee helped Capote pen his bestseller In Cold Blood. But some have suggested Capote played a larger role in Lee’s first novel than either author would admit and the release of her next book could help dispel the theory.
    CNBC asked “If she was such a great writer why would she be one-and-done?


    Harper Lee?s new book: To Kill a Mockingbird sequel out in July 2015

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    That's a surprise. She's really kept herself from the limelight well, I thought she was long gone from this world. It'll be interesting to see if the ghost writer rumor is true.

  3. #3
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    [
    CNBC asked “If she was such a great writer why would she be one-and-done?

    That piqued my interest. Other notable "one-and-done" authors include:


    Anna Sewell (Black Beauty)
    Edgar Allan Poe (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket) - note, this is about novels

    Emily Bronte (Wuthering heights)
    Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
    Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)- (a novella was published posthumously)
    Boris Pasternak (Dr. Zhivago)
    Arundhati Roy (The God of small things)

  4. #4
    Pedantic bastard
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    oops -

    J.D. Salinger (The catcher in the Rye)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    J.D. Salinger (The catcher in the Rye)
    Terrible and over-rated book.

  6. #6
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^I loved it. Have a hardback copy, and re-read it every few years.

  7. #7
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    J.D. Salinger (The catcher in the Rye)
    Terrible and over-rated book.
    I liked it. I thought it was refreshing, but having said that, I wouldn't want to read a lot of books in that style.

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I think I enjoy it because I was incarcerated for several years in a very posh New England prep school on the outskirts of Boston.

    The book brings back a lot of memories....all bad.

    Finally they came to their senses, and kicked me out, ending the two most awful years of my childhood.

    Never giving up, I was then incarcerated by my parents in a very posh New Hampshire summer school for prep school rejects. It promised rehabilitation and reinstatement at the end of the summer.

    They kicked me out after two weeks.

    Thus ended my prep school career.

  9. #9
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    ^ & ^^

    I was a bit tongue in cheek with my comment; it's a book that was important within a culture, but means little to a person from a different culture from a different time (in this case, me) - it doesn't read well outside of its immediate perspective/frame/context, but that could be said for a lot of/most books.

    I've read books which I've enjoyed, such as the Diary of Adrian Mole, which I doubt were actually written particularly well and wouldn't 'travel' outside of their context well. I'd argue that the Harry Potter books were similar insomuchas they were not well written per se, but were well written within a context which made them hugely successful.

    I suppose my point is just that, in reference to the opening post; the book is likely, due to the time and place it was written (i.e. a long time a go, by an inexperienced writer), to not read well. But, we will see. I'd like to give it a read, once it comes out, with an open mind.
    How do I post these pictures???

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