The world’s first Instagram novel made its official print debut yesterday, so you can now buy Rachel Hulin’s Hey Harry, Hey Matilda as a real book. But you can also read it on the novel’s Instagram page, where author and photographer Rachel Hulin has been sharing the story in an entirely new way since last year.
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda tells the story of two fraternal twins as they communicate to each other via email. As Bustle reports, “Harry is an unpublished writer and an untenured English professor, Matilda is a frustrated artist-turned-wedding photographer, and neither twin is especially fulfilled by their current endeavors — personal nor professional. Charming and hilarious, though both perhaps a tad too cerebral for their own good, Matilda and Harry are each hiding a secret; and this novel meets the duo just as those secrets are about to come to a head.”
In an interview with NPR last year, Hulin explained that the story originally began as a blog she was writing, which evolved into the full novel. “I wrote a full manuscript really quickly, and it was sort of missing something, I felt like,” she said. “So I – being a photographer-writer, I’m always trying to figure out exactly which medium I want to work in. So I decided to shoot pictures for the project. And so I spent a full summer casting the book, basically. I found some friends to be Harry and Matilda, and I put them in a tree. And I made a website for them.. And then a friend of mine, who is a publicist, said you should put it on Instagram. And it immediately really worked. And I think it’s a testament to what words and images together can do and what added dimension that is.”
Each photo on the Hey Harry, Hey Matilda Instagram account is captioned with one of the emails the twins exchange—the most recent photo on the page is the most recent email, so readers who want to experience the book in full on Instagram should start with the very first photo Hulin posted to the account.
What do you think of this idea? Would you read a novel on Instagram, or do you prefer the traditional route?
YouTube Channel: Amanda Formaro
Featured Image via Instagram @heyharryheymatilda