Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Miss Lee's second book - what do you think?


The world was atwitter today with the announcement that Harper Lee was going to publish her second novel, 50 years after To Kill a Mockingbird.




The book, titled Go Set a Watchman, will be released by HarperCollins this coming July.  It features the iconic character of Scout as an adult.

Lee wrote the book in the 1950s and never attempted to get it published.  It was "rediscovered" recently and you can imagine the interest and enthusiasm the announcement has created.

Personally, I am excited to read the book, but I am also leery.

The feisty woman in the rocker above is an old lady now, one whom many claim is suffering from dementia.



I was already seeing debate online today by people who wonder if she isn't being pressured into publishing this book, which for decades the author herself didn't think was worth publishing.

Pure speculation, but I also wonder about the editing process and Lee's ability to participate in it.  

HarperCollins certainly caught the literary world by surprise today, which is a real coup, that's for sure.

As for me, I would take a cast-aside manuscript by Harper Lee over much of the drivel currently being published, including a book which is soon to be released as a movie, which I am so sick of hearing about I refuse to even use its name anymore.  I know, I am alone in that... sigh...

Have a great Tuesday evening!

xoxo wendy

23 comments:

  1. Wendy, I have your same skepticism and would try to temper enthusiasm for any seeking the same level of gratification from this book and the recent news regarding Ms Lee tells me this is a bit exploitative. HL has long been an interesting personality for her reclisiveness, Truman Capote connection, and only writing one book which.I suspect TC was of enormous influence if not giving direct literary guidance, then urging her on, believing in her, and helping her believe in herself and the timing for a book of that nature couldn't have been better.
    She must have agreed with F. Scott Fitzgerald that there are no 2nd Acts in American lives.

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    1. Eloquently put! I think whoever edits it will be hard-pressed to provide the filter that Capote would have provided. I do wonder if he didn't give her direct literary guidance as well. Makes me think... It would be like suddenly publishing a bunch of Salinger's work - there is a reason he didn't want to publish more, even if we didn't entirely agree with it!

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  2. I too won't be spending my time seeing "that movie" after giving one of the books a try. But maybe this second one of HL is really really good and she just lost her nerve or her caring if it got published or not. I hope it is excellent and won't be torn apart by critics who have never written a novel.

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    1. I hope its good too, although I think there are some excellent literary critiques who have never written a novel, although they have written more scholarly fare.

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  3. That is interesting news, and you bring up excellent points about it. I'm curious why she felt it wasn't good enough to publish.

    I haven't read Those Books but I imagine I'll eventually catch the movie when it hits pay-per-view or cable some day. I'm still getting over having seen Gone Girl, so I'm definitely not ready for That Movie yet lol.

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    1. Cate - I am thinking if Gone Girl did you in, this might be the end, lol!

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  4. As for me, I would take a cast-aside manuscript by Harper Lee over much of the drivel currently being published... .

    YES!

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  5. Wendy you are Not alone in your sentiment! I keep seeing ads for that movie and I just cringe! I'll take a good book any day over the utter garbage that I keep seeing.
    What's the status of your book!

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    1. Hi A! Thanks for asking - currently being shopped. I have received two rejections from wonderful houses that said very kind things, but I might take less kind words and an offer! :-)

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  6. i cannot wait for this wendy.

    i tried that book and thought the writing was so impossibly bad i cannot imagine a movie being made and the fortune it has created. ugh.

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    1. Janet - I am with you. It is cringe-worthy bad!

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  7. I didn't knew this story and it is interesting... I hope she was not forced, at her age she should be able to do what please her. I have not read those books, not seen any trailer and do not intend to see any of the movies...

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  8. "That" book was such drivel I couldn't be bothered with it.
    I too wonder about this lady and her being taken advantage of. Anything for a buck these days, which is a shame. I'll read it, but don't expect much.

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    1. I sure hope for her sake that it is received well. How devastating would that be for her?

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  9. Hi Wendy, you are not alone. Harper Lee, even on her worst writing day, could not be as bad as "that book", which was a monumental waste of the paper it was printed on. (Yes, I did try reading it but could only get through the first few chapters before giving up in disgust.) It's ridiculous how much attention it is getting. I thought Vogue could stoop no lower than Kim Kardashian/Kanye West, but yes, they have - guess what is on the cover of their latest issue!!

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    1. I saw that, too! ugh! I just put another post with a shout-out to you!

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  10. Pretty brave to release it. To Kill A Mockingbird is still the most perfect book and I am re-reading it for the upteenth time at the moment. It's so natural and has all those things we're taught as writers, stakes, movement etc but its all real. There was rumours that she actually wrote most of that book, In Cold Blood. Who knows. It's extraordinary that someone so talented only wrote that one book.

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    1. I know - all the craft books I read about writing clearly show me that it is indeed structured to perfection and the characters - oh my!

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  11. I read the news too and was wondering what was the real reason of it being published now. I didn't read To kill a Mockingbird, it's an American classic that isn't very popular outside the States and non English-language countries IMO, so I might read the two back-to-back in the summer.
    So I read that book (the three of them, the second one being the best) and to me the writing was much better than the Twilight series, that I really couldn't go through. Not going to watch the movie though, that looks like garbage.

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  12. I am ever the optimist and therefore so excited at the prospect of reading all about Scout in her twenties. I love both the book and the film. 'Go Set A Watchman' was written before 'Mockingbird' so the style and content will be interesting to study. When our younger daughter first read the book she was miffed that we hadn't called her Scout!

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  13. Took me a while to figure out what "that book" is but I think I have it now.

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