An admission: I cannot pronounce the word posthumous. Seriously, try as I might, it’s all just one big lisp for me – and as a librarian it’s a bad time to not be able topronounce this word because there are a number of books by great, late authors that have recently been or are being posthumously released this fall.
Take the new book from Kurt Vonnegut, who died in 2007. Look at the Birdie is a collection of short stories that were previously unpublished. Released on October 20, this is actually the 2nd collection of new writings to be released since Vonnegut’s death. Armageddon in Retrospect – a collection of essays about war and peace – was released in 2008.
While there are also late authors from whom a new book is not only not unusual, but actually expected – like V.C. Andrews who died in 1986, but has published more books since her death than she did while living (yes, it’s a ghost writer) – there are other authors where a rediscovered or previously unpublished book is a major event. This fall will see the release of a previously unpublished book by Russian great Vladimir Nabokov. Entitled The Original of Laura, Nabokov apparently asked that this novel never be published, but published it will be – on November 17th of this year.