Category: Non-Fiction

fire and fury

‘Fire and Fury’ Sequel Will Arrive in June

The Washington Post reports that the author of last year’s Fire and Fury is releasing another book that will shed a light on the Trump administration’s activities.

Michael Wolff’s Siege: Trump Under Fire will be published by Henry Holt and Company in June, and it will serve as a follow-up to his prior release. Siege is expected to provide another thorough, behind-the-scenes look at the White House and the president, who Wolff describes as, “volatile, erratic, and exposed.”

Wolff shared the news via Twitter, as well as the book’s June 4th release date:

 

 

In particular, Siege will focus on the Robert Mueller investigation and the alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials back in 2016.

Wolff reportedly spoke to over one-hundred-fifty sources to compile the information; however, Holt declined to disclose whether or not the sources are still currently in the Trump administration.

 

Featured Image via The Daily Beast.

Evidence of Harper Lee’s Unpublished True Crime Book Uncovered

Harper Lee is famous for her classic novel To Kill a Mocking Bird and her unshakeable commitment to justice continues to inspire us. Author and journalist Casey Cep has written for The Guardian about a discovery made while researching her book Furious Hours.

Though most people know much about Harper Lee’s work and her enlightening words, Lee was notoriously private. According to Cep, writing for The Guardian, “part of what she so despised about the press coverage of her own life was its many inaccuracies and distortions of the truth.” However, one thing that has come to light following Lee’s death in 2016, is a true crime book which was never released.

 

Image result for harper lee

Image via Vulture

 

 

The Guardian notes that Harper Lee had always been “intrigued with crime”. As a child, she would go to the local courthouse and observe trials from the balcony, and went on to study law at the University of Alabama, and even had a hand in the research and assembling of the first true crime book, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Not to mention Lee’s own novel To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the finest tales of justice ever written.

Back in the late 70s, sixteen-year-old Alabaman teen, Shirley Ann Ellington, was one of several people murdered by her stepfather, Reverend Willie Maxwell. According to The Irish Times, Casey Cep “is one of just a few individuals who have read the only known chapter of Lee’s unpublished book, The Reverend, about the case of Reverend William Maxwell.”

Harper Lee heard about the Maxwell case in 1977,  when he was shot in the head at Shirley Ann’s funeral by a relative who suspected him of committing the murdder. The following year, Lee began interviewing anyone connected to the case, intending to write about it, however whether she intended to write a true crime book a la Capote, or a fictionalized version of events, as further evidence would suggest, remains unclear.

In 2015, after Lee’s controversial second novel, Go Set a Watchman, who announced, Casey Cep revealed that the family of Maxwell’s lawyer, Tom Radney, who had worked with Lee on her research were in possession of a chapter by Lee entitled ‘The Reverend,’ in which Radney was referred to as ‘Jonathan Larkin,’ implying that perhaps she was intending to fictionalize the case.

 

 

Image result for harper lee

Image via IMDb

 

Whether Harper Lee finished the book to the end is sadly a mystery in itself. According to Cep, many rumors circulated regarding what Harper Lee did with her manuscripts, with the Radney family insisting that every time he spoke with her, which was twice a year she would tell him she was still working on it. The family hoped that the rest of the manuscript would be released after the publication of Go Set a Watchman, but sadly this did not come to pass and her estate has been sealed. According to the Irish Times, “Cep believes whatever exists of The Reverend will remain unpublished until it is unsealed.”

Whether through for fiction or nonfiction, Harper Lee still reflects the importance of dedication to the truth, and nothing but the truth.

 

 

Featured Image via UPI

Obamas, Netflix to Produce Frederick Douglass Adaptation

Want to Netflix and chill? Make sure you leave room for the Obamas.

Netflix announced last year that Michelle and Barack Obama had entered into a multi-year agreement with the media giant, and they planned to release several substantial fiction and nonfiction films and series under the name Higher Ground Productions, the Obamas’ production company. Since the announcement, details on the actual content the Obamas are working on have been sparse, aside from Netflix’s promise that the freshman production duo will be producing entertainment for an international audience.

Michelle and Barack Obama released plans yesterday to work on a feature-length biopic called Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom in collaboration with Netflix over the next few years. This adaptation will be based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel of the same name by American history professor and academic David W. Blight.

 

 

 

Frederick Douglass is only one project in the apple of the Obamas’ production company’s eye, however. Higher Ground Productions was founded by the Obamas last year as part of their partnership with Netflix. The couple will apparently focus their efforts on personalities and topics that are off interest to them.

For a more complete list of upcoming projects from the Obamas, click here.

Public statements from the Obamas reveal that they do not take this venture into the media industry lightly. Even if the turn from politics to media streaming services seems counter-productive, Michelle argues that two people who have such an immense following as herself and Barack should feel obligated to use their social standing as an opportunity to tell meaningful stories. In the same statement from Netflix last year, Michelle said:

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

 

 

Featured image via Obamalibrary.gov.