Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weepy as Soon as the Book is in my Hands

Right now I'm reading Eva Ibbotson's last* book One Dog and his Boy, and I've been misty-eyed ever since picking it up. I KNOW that it is going to end well, because her books always do. But she's going to make me suffer to get there. Even more than that, I'm weepy because I know there won't be any more Eva Ibbotson books. The late Eva Ibbotson is one of my favorite writers. Was perhaps my favorite living writer. (Luckily I still have Laurie Graham. Ms. Graham, please eat well, look both ways and all that!) Sigh.

* At least one more Eva Ibbotson book is being released -- The Abominables. But I don't know how I feel about an author's heirs publishing an old manuscript that the author deliberately held back. Apparently her beloved husband died as she was completing it, and in her grief she decided to abandon funny, silly books for those with more emotional depth. But her comedies do have emotional depth, and her more serious work always has a comic element, so... Well, I'm glad there will be one more, but I'll feel a tad ambivalent reading it. Which of my old manuscripts would I want my heirs to release? Some, perhaps, like The Bulbuls of Baghdad, a time travel fantasy set during the Iraq war and a particularly bloody period of Medieval Baghdad that no one seems to want to touch... but certainly not some others, handwritten Mary Sue juvenilia...


1 comment:

Mirka Breen said...

We wouldn't have Kafka's iconic work if Thomas Mann hadn't published it after his death, and ignored Kafka's request to burn the manuscripts.
My feeling is that Kafka should have burned the manuscripts himself, if he meant that they must never be read. If a manuscript is found intact, in some part of them the authors were leaving the decision whether the world needed it, to others.
And there's a lesson for us in this: if you don't want others to make the decision after you are gone, act now.