Books and Authors that Leave Marks: A Conflicted, Questioning and Obsessive Look into ‘Found Books’

Harper Lee Smokes

I’m breaking form today.

I had another blog planned. Something to go along with the one published the day before. Maybe I will write that blog someday but that day is not today.

Something has grabbed my attention recently.  I was in Barnes and Noble for the Manga sale when I came across Go Set a Watchman. I, up to that point, was set on not reading it. I had read so many conflicting reports on the validity of this manuscript. In addition, how the publishing company was taking advantage of the author. However, as I stood there, I felt compelled to pick it up and buy it. In hard copy.

Some authors deserve to be read the old-fashioned well. Harper Lee is on that list for me.

Before you ask. I have not read it yet. I am waiting for that strange mood to strike me again.

What am I getting at? Give me a few seconds. I am getting to my point. Just the other week I heard about a new Dr. Seuss book that was found and would be published (on Tuesday in fact).

Odd. Another bestselling author, long gone from society, had another book out there. Just waiting among the dust. Waiting to be noticed by someone.

Coincidence?

It seems to be the summer of lost dreams and old thoughts.  What is next? Jane Austen wrote a sequel to Pride and Prejudice? Just waiting to be found in an old quilt she had as a child?

Why are so many books being found? Why are publishing companies so eager to find these books instead of developing and nurturing new authors?

Money. Easy marketing. Guaranteed success. There are so many reasons why publishing companies do what they do. What am I getting at is…why? Why do we need sequels or new novels from the authors that are long gone from the public conscience only revived by random writings on the internet?

There is a quote in The Atlantic  that really struck me hard:

Or perhaps Lee, alive but ill, is being treated the way so many deceased authors are: as ideas rather than people, as brands and businesses rather than messy collections of doubts and desires.

That rings true to me. Harper Collins does not care about Harper Lee. They care about her brand. They care about the bottom line.  Which makes me sick.

I know I am being precious. Nothing is black and white but when it comes to certain authors I just do not want to see any more from them. I actually loved that Harper Lee was a one-book novelist. I felt like she said what she wanted to say. She left her mark on so many generations and future generations to come.

Will this book ruin that? Will it ruin the mark that book left on my life?

Why do we need to find these manuscripts if they just ruin the legacy left behind?

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