Monday, April 13, 2015

Author Event with Lawrence Hill

January turned into the month of reading Lawrence Hill after being swept away by The Book of Negroes, my first read of the year. I finished all three of his novels that same month. And this month, I finally got to see the man himself!

I could’ve listened to him talk for hours! He is such a vessel of knowledge. Hill discussed the amount of research required to pull the book together and he did rely on some experts. He had many connections, having been a journalist, and wasn't bashful about calling them up.

Hill wanted to write The Book of Negroes for some time but didn't think he was ready to do so before he did. Once he said that, I thought about the love that oozes from the narrative, and it became obvious that this story was nurtured. I asked myself, if I had a story this captivating in me, could I have waited until the right time to share it with people. I truly believe he has been rewarded for his patience, and so have we. 

He received other offers to adapt the book into a movie, but he wanted to give it to someone whose work he could trust. Authors have little say once they sign on the dotted line. After astutely waiting for an ideal time to write the book, it only made sense that he would take his time when handing it over to be made into a movie.

Someone asked about the book’s US title, Someone Knows My Name. It came about when bookstores were not ordering copies of the book with the original title. But when the novel became a miniseries,using The Book of Negroes as the title, naysayers quickly warmed up to the idea and the US publisher is reissuing the book with the original title.

Hill’s fourth novel and tenth book,The Illegal, will be released in Canada on September 1, 2015 and in the US in early 2016. According to the HarperCollins press release: Lawrence Hill says, “I have been thinking about the lives of undocumented refugees since meeting Sudanese expatriates in West Berlin in the 1980s. In Canada, the United States and around the world, millions of people have to survive with a huge question mark over their lives. Will they be deported? Persecuted? Executed? What do their lives look like while they are hiding in rich nations and trying, against all odds, to get on with their lives? These questions became my obsession and the inspiration for The Illegal.

This. Sounds. Awesome!!! I don't usually request advanced review copies of books, but this may be a worthy occasion. 

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The Book of Negroes/Someone Knows My Name on Amazon
View all by Hill on Amazon


Jacqueline said...

I sooo respect Mr. Hill for writing The Book of Negroes. It's funny that he thought that he was not ready to write the book before....I could write several blogs on that alone!!

Great post!

Mary Okeke said...

Yahhh lucky you!!! I am yet to read his book.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

Jacqueline, what do you think about The Illegal?

Mary, this picture of you is giving me life! I love it...One of the perks of living in this area I guess. All the authors come to town!

Mary Okeke said...

hahaha, Thank you!!!

Buried In Print said...

I really enjoyed his non-fiction in the Massey Lecture, Blood, too. His synthesis of related subjects made it a pleasure to read and left me with a lot to consider. I'm very pleased to hear about his new novel: thanks for adding it, too, to my TBR.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

Now I'm rethinking my decision to skip his nonfiction, Buried In Print. You're the first that I've heard mention anything about it. I'm going to take another look...