Tuesday, February 06, 2007

JK Rowling writes of finishing final Harry Potter book

From her personal website:

Section: Diary


Charles Dickens put it better than I ever could:

'It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years' imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever.'

To which I can only sigh, try seventeen years, Charles...

I always knew that Harry's story would end with the seventh book, but saying goodbye has been just as hard as I always knew it would be. Even while I'm mourning, though, I feel an incredible sense of achievement. I can hardly believe that I've finally written the ending I've been planning for so many years. I've never felt such a mixture of extreme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.

Some of you have expressed a (much more muted!) mixture of happiness and sadness at the prospect of the last book being published, and that has meant more than I can tell you. If it comes as any consolation, I think that there will be plenty to continue arguing and speculating about, even after 'Deathly Hallows' comes out. So if you're not yet ready to quit the message boards, do not despair...

I'm almost scared to admit this, but one thing has stopped me collapsing in a puddle of misery on the floor. While each of the previous Potter books has strong claims on my affections, 'Deathly Hallows' is my favourite, and that is the most wonderful way to finish the series.


Anonymous said...

"If it comes as any consolation, I think that there will be plenty to continue arguing and speculating about, even after 'Deathly Hallows' comes out."
Okay, I don't want to be left hanging, I want answers! (Probably as a result of my legal training . . . . .) I know after I have finished reading the book I am going to be heartbroken . . . . The thought of living the rest of my life without another Harry Potter book is almost to much to bear . . . .

Anonymous said...

From Today's Washington Post:

Last Call on Platform 93/4
It's five months away. Do you know where your pre-ordered copy is?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007; A16

ON JULY 21, the wait will be over. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will come out, and, assuming you can actually get your hands on one, there will never be another new Harry Potter book for your children to eagerly anticipate. Libraries and bookstores will decorate as if for Christmas. Cultural critics will bemoan that children can't be persuaded to read anything else.

In fact, J.K. Rowling's amazing ability to get young people to read is valuable in itself, as her American publisher's name, Scholastic, would imply. While there may be more abstract educational value in other tomes, there's a great deal to be said for inspiring the sort of page-turning passion that makes kids want to rip through a novel in a day and be hungry for more. Will it move them to a similar passion for Willa Cather or Vikram Seth as they get older? Who can say? Maybe today's Potter addicts someday will even read a newspaper.

Whatever the future of the printed page, the era of the Harry Potter Media Event is almost over. It's been a remarkable decade since "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" ("Sorcerer's Stone" in the States) changed life as we knew it in 1997. An unemployed single mother wrote books that made her almost as rich as Oprah and almost as beloved as the Beatles. Parents who used to have to bribe their children into reading suddenly found them attacking 300-, then 400-, 700- and 800-page books like ice cream in July. Not a few parents found themselves impatiently waiting for their turns. That's a rather impressive feat, even for a wizard.