JK Rowling's speech at Harvard to be turned into a book

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 20:43 IST

On April 14, a speech that "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling gave to the graduating class at Harvard will be immortalised in print. She joins authors including David Foster Wallace and George Saunders whose commencement speeches have been printed in book form.

Rowling's Very Good Lives will be an 80-page book said to be relevant for anyone at a turning point in their lives and covering how to embrace failure and better ourselves and others, drawing from the author's own post-graduate years. Proceeds will go to a children's charity and a scholarship program at Harvard.

WATCH: Text of the speech

Here are a few other famous authors whose commencement speeches can line your bookshelves:

David Foster Wallace: This is Water
Wallace's 2005 speech at Kenyon College has been reprinted and shared far and wide. The words of wisdom by late Infinite Jest author, which begin with an oft-quoted fish parable, were published in 2009, and some transcripts and videos can still be found online.

George Saunders: Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness
The short story author spoke to the graduating class at Syracuse University in 2013. His message: "Try to be kinder." After being reprinted on a New York Times blog and going viral, the speech was published last year.

Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
The author of American Gods and the comic book series The Sandman gave a now-famous 2012 commencement speech at Philadelphia's University of the Arts in which "make good art" was his basic commandment. It was published in 2013.

Kurt Vonnegut: If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young
Nine of the late US author's graduation speeches are compiled in a volume called If This Isn't Nice, What Is? While the speech that is most famously attributed to him, Wear Sunscreen, is actually from a Chicago Tribune column by Mary Schmich, Vonnegut -- author of Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions -- offered up plenty of wisdom over the years. Here is a clip from 1999: www.c-span.org/video/?123554-1/agnes-scott-college-commencement-address.

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