WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

More bad news about Harper Lee

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This saddens me. There won’t be a mass-market paperback edition of To Kill A Mockingbird anymore. Why?

Greed.

Whoever is in charge of Harper Lee’s estate is unbelievably tone-deaf. Or legacy-deaf. They’re trashing the old gal’s reputation!

Anyway, read the story and weep. And remember that your first exposure to a lot of classic books — back in middle school and high school — was through those great but inexpensive mass-market editions. They taught you to love reading. And you could afford to buy your own books too. (I still have my bath water—swollen copy of The Innocents Abroad. Yes, it fell in the tub while I was reading …)

So thanks a lot, the Harper Lee Estate. And HarperCollins. Another swift move by big publishing.

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13 comments on “More bad news about Harper Lee

  1. islandeditions
    March 12, 2016

    Why does this not surprise me?

  2. Luanne
    March 12, 2016

    The whole story of Harper Lee and publishing is tragic other than the fact that the book was published and we’ve all enjoyed it.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 12, 2016

      So right, Luanne. I hope the whole sordid tale is forgotten one day …

  3. kingmidget
    March 12, 2016

    It’s been clear ever since the news of Watchman came out that Ms. Carter is only interested in monetizing everything she possibly can out of the Harper Lee Estate. When Watchman was published, I read an article in which Ms. Carter suggested that there was evidence of a third and a fourth manuscript buried in Lee’s safe deposit box. And that’s where they should stay. It’s all just so disgusting. I’ll never read Watchman or anything else that comes out. To Kill a Mockingbird.is the only Harper Lee novel as far as I’m concerned.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 12, 2016

      Same here. No interest at all in Watchman, and if they publish more unrevised dreck, they’re basically grave robbing.

  4. sknicholls
    March 12, 2016

    I’m with Mark on this one. I would froth at the mouth if anybody took my drafts and published them. Shame on them.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 12, 2016

      But it’s for the Almighty Dollar! Doesn’t that make it okay? 😈

  5. 1WriteWay
    March 12, 2016

    … that’s screwed up …

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 12, 2016

      Truly. Just once I’d like to see somebody do the right effing thing.

      • 1WriteWay
        March 13, 2016

        Seems like when $$ is involved, especially $$$$$$ from an estate, the right thing is irrelevant to those in charge. That said, I can understand a preference for trade paperbacks because they are more durable. I avoid mass-market because they are so cheap (as in cheaply made, but not so cheap as they were when I was a kid). So … why can’t schools get a steeper discount? The publisher doesn’t HAVE to bilked the schools … just sayin’

      • Kevin Brennan
        March 14, 2016

        I have a feeling it might backfire on them. Schools might move on to other books, especially if Mockingbird gets tagged with some of Watchman’s reputation …

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2016 by in Publishing and tagged , , .
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