Thursday, August 22, 2013
Esther Earl, the inspiration behind TFIOS, to be published next year
Esther Earl, the girl who inspired The Fault In Our Stars, will have her novel published next year. USA Today wrote an article on it.
Esther Earl, an avid reader and star of quirky YouTube videos, died at age 16 in 2010, four years after she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Two years later, John Green dedicated his teen novel, The Fault in Our Stars, to Esther. The best seller is narrated by Hazel, a quirky 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer.
Now Esther is about to become an author.
A collection of her writings, This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl,will be published by Dutton on Jan. 28, 2014, with a foreword by Green. Its cover is revealed here for the first time.
Esther's parents, Wayne and Lori Earl, both teachers at Quincy (Mass.) College, say they love Green's novel and were delighted that it's being adapted as a movie starring Shailene Woodley.
But they say nothing compares to seeing a book with Esther's name on the cover.
Her dad, 53, says Esther, the third of five children, started writing stories when she was just 5 or 6.
"She would have loved to be an author," adds her mom, who's 50.
Green, who met Esther at a 2009 convention of Harry Potter fans, is deferring questions about Esther's book to her parents. But he has often said that Hazel, his fictional narrator, shouldn't be confused with Esther.
A former student chaplain at a children's hospital, Green struggled to write a novel about teens with cancer, but found it too bitter and angry. In 2011, he told USA TODAY that getting to know Esther — in person and online — helped him realize that "kids with stage 4 cancer can be just as funny, and as normal and as afraid as any other kid."
The Fault in Our Stars, released in early 2012, has spent 69 weeks on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list. It's currently No. 7.
Lori Earl read a manuscript of Green's novel in one sitting, "sobbing through parts of it. At first, I kept seeing Esther, but the more I read it, the more it seemed fictitious. John got right all the details about living with cancer."
Wayne Earl planned to self-publish his daughter's letters, journal entries and short stories. He shared the collection with Green who showed it to his editor who decided to publish it with family photographs and a focus on the last two years of Esther's life.
Her dad says, "It's our way of holding on to her and sharing all the love she had."