Since the publication in early July of Go Set a Watchman (you can read the first chapter here), many of Harper Lee’s reviewers (negative and positive alike) have focused on the character Atticus Finch.
The attendee at last Sunday’s “The Future of the Book Review” who said with happy surprise, “I really thought that this would be a doom and gloom session!” probably did not speak for herself alone. After all, this is a vocation radically transformed in recent decades by the overflow of electronic media. Only one American newspaper still has a stand-alone weekly book review section in print, and the space it allots reviews has been cut, and cut again, over the last several decades.
Historians can take a wide variety of career paths, from policy to public history and beyond. The 129th annual meeting has already hosted many sessions showcasing the nontraditional career tracks many of our colleagues have chosen. “Historians Writing Fiction: Outside of the Academy,” held on Saturday morning in the Hilton’s Sutton Center, featured three successful fiction writers who decided to leave an academic trajectory to pursue their craft independently.
Andrea Cremer, author of the bestselling Nightshade series; David Coe, an award-winning fantasy writer; and Laura Kamoie, who writes romance and historical fiction under the pen name Laura Kaye, had all earned doctorates in history before deciding to pursue fiction writing full-time.