The Lit Review |13| Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman released by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman, a new book by Harper Lee and the sequel to the iconic To Kill A Mockingbird, will be released this summer, a mere 55 years after the release of the 88 year old’s award winning debut. According to the Guardian, Lee’s attorney Tonja Carter came across a mislaid manuscript which, in Lee’s own words: ‘… features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort.’ Apparently the writer hadn’t realised it was still in existence.

‘I hadn’t realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and Lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it.’

Recent legal cases addressing the writer’s capacity to make decisions regarding her financial affairs have resurfaced with the news of this new book. Carter, who has been given the power of attorney over Ms. Lee’s finances, has not commented on this news. Whether or not you have suspicions about the publication of this old/new story, literature fans around the world are squealing with anticipation.


New book by Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera, the Czech-born writer of the Unbearable Lightness of Being, will also publish a book this year after a considerable pause, although not quite as lengthy a hiatus as Ms Lee. Kundera will release The Festival of Insignificance this summer, thirteen years after his most recent book was published. According to Stephen Page, CEO of Faber (I commented on how hilariously apt his name was before, but feel the need to yet again) this latest work is ‘incredibly relevant to the world we live in now. It’s funny but also quite surreal.’



Craft beer is not new to Ireland; it has been around for billions, perhaps trillions, of years, but it’s only recently that the hipsters have got a taste for it. A new book, Slainte – The Complete Guide to Craft Beer, by food bloggers Caroline Hennessy and Kristen Jensen, does exactly what it says on the tin, or bottle, depending on what you’re drinking. It is an extensive, accessible guide to the wide range of Irish craft beers. You can purchase here.


Anne Enright becomes first Laureate for Irish Fiction

Booker Prize winner Anne Enright has been selected from a stellar shortlist as the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. Enright has been selected for her literary accomplishments and will take on the role for the next three years. Her main objectives throughout her term will be to promote the Irish short story and Irish writing abroad, with a particular focus on the translation of Irish fiction into other languages.


The Library Creep

This week, The British Library welcomed their first ever library dweller. Their latest Writer-In-Residence will be found in most nooks covered in dust and carrying an eerie lantern. This is not actually true. But perhaps something even cooler is the news that Rob Sherman, writer, games designer and creator of work such as The Black Crown Project will pursue his new role in the library recording and digitising the stories behind documents from arctic expeditions. This is for an ongoing exhibition entitled Lines in the Ice. One of the first projects is based on the lost Franklin Exhibition which features interactive talks around the ill-fated voyage. So, he is not actually a library lurker who creeps around in the shadows. Disappointing really. Follow him on Twitter or find out about his other work


The perfect Father’s Day gift

Sons+Fathers is a new book to raise funds for the Night Care service of the Irish Hospice Foundation. This book has been written with an introduction from Colm Tóibín and contributions from well-known writers and artists, such as Daniel Day Lewis and Salman Rushdie. It will launch to coincide with Father’s Day this year, which takes place on June 21st.


This Day in June

This Day In June
This Day In June

This Day in June has won the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. Written by Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D. and illustrated by Kristyna Litten, This Day in June is the first picture book to win the award. It depicts the colour, energy and diversity of a Pride Parade, as seen through the eyes of a child. The award is given annually to the best children’s fiction in the English language which relates to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.


Sunday Times EFG Short Story Longlist

Three Irish authors have made the cut for the Sunday Times EFG short story longlist: Colin Barrett, Joseph O’Neill and Mary O’Donoghue. The short list will be announced on March 4th and the overall winner will be selected on April 24th. Check back in for updates. Although, in fairness, if you’re not actually on the longlist then you probably don’t really need to check back in. But please do, as we like having you. The longlist looks a bit like this:

The Indian Uprising by Ann Beattie

The Collected Tricks of Houdini by Rotimi Babatunde

The Ways by Colin Barrett

Fat White Cop with Ginger Eyebrows by Louise Doughty

Qualities of the Modern Farmer by Emily Franklin

The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon

The Glove Maker’s Numbers by Rebecca F. John

A Sheltered Woman by Yiyun Li

Hungry by Elizabeth McCracken

False River by Paula Morris

Interstellar Space by Scott O’Connor

Jules Verne Seeks Dreamers for Long-Distance Travel in Time by Mary O’Donoghue

The Referees by Joseph O’Neill

Lucky by Julianne Pachico

After the War, Before the War by David Peace

Holiday by Mona Simpson

Still Water, BC by Erin Soros

The Spiders of Stockholm by E. J. Swift

The Wedding Cake by Madeleine Thien