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HomeArts & CultureBook news: Paula Hawkins takes the plunge Into the Water, Monroeville to honour Harper Lee, and more

Book news: Paula Hawkins takes the plunge Into the Water, Monroeville to honour Harper Lee, and more

Paula Hawkins takes the plunge Into the Water

It has been the publishing sensation of the past few years, so it is no surprise that news of the follow-up to Paula Hawkins’s psychological thriller The Girl on the Train made waves this week. Into the Water will be released on May 2 next year, and Hawkins shows no signs of diverting from the successful formula that has made her one of the world’s highest-paid authors. Publishers Doubleday said the book is about “the slipperiness of the truth, and a family drowning in secrets”, after a single mother and a teenage girl turn up dead at the bottom of a river, just weeks apart. Hawkins says she is still driven by “the way voices and truths can be hidden consciously or unconsciously, memories can be washed away and whole histories submerged”.

Monroeville to honour Harper Lee

The authorities in Harper Lee’s home city of Monroeville have revealed plans for a major tourist attraction in the Alabama city to celebrate the world of To Kill a Mockingbird. The Harper Lee Trail will include a museum and replicas of three houses featured in the seminal 1960 novel. Whether Lee would have approved is not so clear – she certainly was not particularly comfortable with the cult of her celebrity in Monroeville, right up until her death in March. The fact that To Kill a Mockingbird hardly paints a portrait of racial harmony in America’s South means the trustees will certainly have to tread carefully, too.

New novel seems Uncomfortably close to reality

It did not take Donald Trump’s opponents long to compare the potential implications of his US election victory to a long tradition of dystopian fiction. So how about a new novel that imagines a “final, disastrous president of the US” who, ahem, is also a despotic billionaire and whose actions start a civil war? Flatiron Books assures us that Reed King’s FKA USA was signed up before recent real-life political events and so is not just literary opportunism, but the publication date of winter 2018 means there is plenty of time for King to hone his story – unless of course the truth remains stranger than fiction.

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