Little, Brown to Publish Book of J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech


Little, Brown – the publishing imprint that has produced all of Rowling’s adult-oriented novels – announced today that they plan on adapting Rowling’s 2008 speech into Very Good Lives, an illustrated version of her 2008 Harvard commencement speech. The illustrations will be done by Joel Howard, who illustrated the cover of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Holland’s body of work focuses on hand-lettering, making him an ideal choice to artistically render a piece of spoken work. Check out the book jacket below:

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J.K. Rowling’s unique and spectacular story of success made her a natural candidate for delivering a commencement address. Her speech – titled Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination - was funny, charming, and full of advice she wished she had known at her own graduation. It also made an entire generation wish they were part of Harvard’s 2008 graduating class. It’s no surprise that this address of inspiration will be preserved in the history books forever.

In true, generous Rowling fashion, proceeds of the book will be donated to her charity Lumos, which tackles the issue of institutionalized children. The book will be released April, 2015.

Give her speech a listen below, and let us know how it inspired you.