A New Harry Potter? Yes, but...
Question: When might a Harry Potter not be a Harry Potter? Stumped? Answer: When it is not written by J.K. Rowling!
So what then is this we hear of a new Harry Potter book to be launched on the 31st July? Indeed it's true, the eight book in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II, is to be officially launched in Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) in Porto in Portugal. Now it might be a tad unfair to say it is not a J.K. Rowling book as, though not penned by her, it is based on an original story by her together with a number of others. And it is officially the eight book on the Harry Potter series. So there, record clarified.
The significance of the date 31st July? Jt is J.K. Rowling's and Harry's joint birthday!
The launch on the 31st July in Porto is that of the official script book of the play of the same name, which premieres in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on the 30th July. The play was written by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne himself.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II follows the life of the now more mature and overworked Potter and his youngest son Albus Severus 19 years after what was the final book in the original series, 'Deathly Hallows'.
Did you know? 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK publication of the very first book in the series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.
About the Book:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (from publisher Little, Brown)
This Special Rehearsal Edition will be available until early 2017, after which a Definitive Edition of the script will be available (publisher's note)
Why Livraria Lello?
This bookshop (see right, click to view larger image) is rumoured to be the inspiration for Rowling's own Flourish and Blotts bookstore in the Harry Potter series and indeed for much of her writings in the series. And it is easy to see why, it is truly a thing of beauty this, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal. The bookshop opened to the public in 1906 and has a neo-gothic facade, a beautifully curvaceous art nouveau staircase and stained-glass skylight. The travel guide Lonely Planet named Livraria Lello the "Third Best Bookstore in the World!".
J.K. Rowling frequented the bookshop and the cafe on the upper floor while she lived in Porto in the early 1990s, teaching English as a foreign language during her stay there.
Below: Flourish and Blotts Bookshop (click to view larger image)
Check the library catalogue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II.
See also the previous blog post POTTER MANIA!!!!! listing the previous seven books in the series.