Who Is That Author?


Or should the title of this post be, What is Emma Thompson Reading?

I just finished watching the film Last Chance Harvey, which was a rather delightful chick-flick with two of my all time favorite actors.  Emma (or at any rate, her character Kate Walker) is seen reading this book during several different scenes in the movie.  I was able to make out the author’s name (but not the title).  Naturally, being the bookish fiend that I am, I set right onto Google to look it up.

Alas, “Anita Harmon” turned up nothing at all (except a few realtors in the Wisconsin area???)

Do they make fake books for movie props?  And why not have her reading a real book?  Perhaps of the kind she said she’d like to write …”the lovely kind you might read on the beach or an aeroplane.”

Any suggestions?


27 thoughts on “Who Is That Author?

  1. You bring up a very good point. It got me to thinking too. So I did a little sleuthing and this is what I found on FAQ list on IMDB:

    “Throughout the movie, Kate is seen reading or just carrying a paperback book. The cover shows that the author is one Anita Harmon. The title appears to be something like A Wayward Note. Since neither the author nor the book are important to the plot, they were made up for the movie rather than using a real book and then having to secure and pay for the rights.”

    It would have been nice if it were an actual book, however I can understand that since it was not important to the story, there was no need to have to deal with the legalities surrounding having to use a real book.

      • I was so hopeful it was a real book! anyway, it is fascinating how we are curious and pay attention in our pleasants movies.

  2. They did that for Sex & The City (the movie) too if I’m not mistaken. There is no such book as “Love Letters of Great Men,” which Carrie reads while in bed with Big.

    Lots of people thought it was real and went around bookstores looking for it only to find out it didn’t exist. Due to demand, the closest alternative, “Love Letters of Great Men and Women: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day” was reissued.

    Who knew the movie was so influential in boosting book sales? Nearly as effective as Oprah’s book club.

  3. Have just watched “Last Chance Harvey” on ppv and rewound and paused several times to figure out the title of the book to see if the print above the Anita Harmon name was legible – thought crossed my mind that it might be a clever way to give the original scriptwriter credits. Then I did some book research and web research and came up with what you did. Even went to amazon.co.uk and penquin.co.uk. and no results. Then I thought, maybe Thompson is using a friend’s name on the book cover. It would be a simple matter with a good program to create a “fake” book cover.
    I tried another search using Dogpile and your blog was one of the results. I was glad to see someone else was as curious about the book as I was.
    I didn’t rewind to recheck but I thought the Anita Harmon cover had a different graphic on it from the first few times it was viewed. Then at the end of the story when Kate comes out of the writing class again , there seems to be a different book she is now holding.
    I would think an author would be honored to have his/her book featured in a movie the way this one was and would give permission and a publishing house, too, because of increased sales. However, the book cover designer might feel differently.
    Thanks for being curious too.

  4. WOW….. so glad to find out I can save money by NOT getting this book then!!! 🙂
    pity though really, as i ahve picked up/ordered various books like you all mention, because they are in movies……
    ….the movie fever pitch is based on a book by the same name, only with a soccar theme instead of baseball…
    …. in the movie conspiracy theory mel gibsons character always has to buy a copy of catcher in the rye…… so i got a copy of that….
    ….sandra bullocks mum in the movie the lake house reads a book by (sp) dostoyevsky???? called crime and punishment i think…. yup…ebay too, got that one….. also a book sandra bullocka character leaves on the train that keanu reeves character gets for her…… cant remeber what its called …persuasion maybe????? but oddly enough is a similar story to the one they go through themselves… the waiting till the time is right before they can be together kind of thing….
    I think there is another on i cant think of right now….. but i want to get the book mentioned in the x-men movie by xavier…. its somethign about kings and rulers or something… again, if its a real book it may have a tie in theme between him and magneto or something like that…. have yet to look for it.
    I would love to know if there are more books like these that’d be interesting to get ahold of. maybe a website that lists them all and whether they are real or not. 🙂

    • The book Xavier was reading in the X-men movie was The Once and Future King by T.H. White. It’s about Merlin, King Arthur, and the knights of the round table. Great book! Highly recommended. I wondered if it was featured in the film because the director was working on a movie version of it, but I saw on Wikipedia that it has been mentioned in the comic book X-men too, with reference to both Xavier and Magneto.

  5. oh yes…another one i remembered…… in the movie serendipity, kate bekinsales character sells a book to a stall that has her phone number in. then john cusacks character throughout the whole movie wants to buy so he can get her number (then ironically his wife as a wedding present finds it and gets it for him) ANYWAY… the book is, love in a time of cholera…… didnt get that book, kinda glad….saw the movie, bit of a downer. 😦
    but again the movie serendipity, mirrors somewhat the story in the book…… this one the movie is a much happier version of the book 🙂

  6. Thank you! Just saw the movie on DVD and was doing MY research on Harmon. Hey if Emma Thompson was reading it….

    Good movie AND good director’s comments with Dustin Hoffman and Thompson, fyi.

    I picked up a used copy of Love in the Time of Cholera. It remains unread (but I did watch the movie 🙂 — I can relate to Dustin Hoffman in the comments of Last Chance Harvey about beginning a lot of books and not finishing them. (Or worse yet, buying and not — yet — starting them. When I got a third copy of a book as a gift, I took it as a sign and read it — Gary Zukav’s The Seat of the Soul)

  7. i, too, just saw last chance harvey on dvd… thanks you all for the anita harmon info… i did want to read it, if possible…
    and am glad you all have saved me from a fruitless search!

  8. Thanks for saving me a lot of running around. I rewound several times to try to catch the name of that book. Same thought here… if Emma Thompson likes it…..

  9. Oh the wonders of googling!

    I am 4 minutes or so into the DVD and of course intrigued by the cover, and after a miss on Amazon, arrive here where all is explained 🙂
    Bit of a let-down that it was fake– I thought books were supposed to throw light on the character of the reader…
    Oh well.

  10. I too, love thee two actors, especially Emma. Thougt their other movie togetherw as brilliant. Did the same thong as you, came straight to Google. Guess they do make up book titles for movies. I rather thought Emma would be reading a Jane Eyre novel. Thanks for saving me lots of time looking for something that doesn’t exist, except only in the movies.

  11. I am real. I am really an author. And my book, “A Wayward Note” featured in “Last Chance Harvey” with Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman is real. Really real. Really, really real.

    Please go to my website, http://www.anitaharmon.co.uk if you so choose to purchase this book or any of my other works. Right now it is only £12.00. Shipping is extra but quite reasonable.



  12. I am so sorry. My publisher did not renew the license on my website. In the meantime please use my alternate site which my agent runs for me. It should be up and running fine. Visit http://harmonfans2008.ning.com/ and click through to the store. My cousin shares this site with me so you may have to plunder through a bit of nonsense before getting to the nougat, so to speak!



  13. Thanks for this posting.
    Had the same feelings: What kind of book is that???

    If you remember “You’ve got mail” there is another very interesting book “dummy” in that FOX Bookstore:
    “Are you your Mother?”- what a title!!!
    I would really like to read that, but it’s only a little joke from Norah Ephron.

  14. I’ve watched the film and as I’m always searching new books to read I thought it would be the one… Thank u for clearing it up…

  15. it gives me satisfaction in knowing that i am not alone doing such futile researches, yes i also enjoyed the movie and noted the name of the author….thanks for saving me the trouble.

  16. Emma Thompson in the credits: a reason to watch the movie. Always believeable, attractive as a human being- not that she isn’t a stunner – but she is human in it’s most attractive form, someone you wish you knew. Yes, I too looked for the book, and from the different posts will attempt to get a copy. Dustin Hoffman is not the matinee idol sparking interest, yet, although you may begin to watch for some other reason, he charms you by the end to want to know him too. Both – lucky to work with one another! The movie is soul-food.

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