Posts Tagged: Harper Lee

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The Rumpus Interview with Joshua Mohr and Janis Cooke Newman

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Authors Joshua Mohr and Janis Cooke Newman talk with one another about their new novels, All This Life and A Master Plan for Rescue, respectively. ...more

Complements to the Canon

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Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) writes for Seven Scribes on the experience of discovering novels by black writers to act as a necessary complement to reading Harper Lee’s reductive portrayals of race in Mockingbird and Watchman:

These books, this canon, represented the exact opposite of what To Kill a Mockingbird meant.

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The Gods of Southern Gothic

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At the Guardian, author M.O. Walsh tries to account for the global popularity of southern gothic literature. While he attributes much of southern gothic literature’s success to a tradition of oral storytelling, he also suggests that it is the southern novelist’s ability to treat the “grotesque” with empathy that helps to create memorable characters:

Show me a southern gothic novel written by someone who’s not from the south and the odds are that I’ll show you a bad novel.

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Leave Harper Alone

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The mysterious buzz surrounding the upcoming release of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, has had readers and journalists speculating about the elderly author’s mental capabilities in a manner often invasive and disrespectful. Lee answered a particularly nosy inquiry with a curt “go away,” concisely expressing how the rest of us have felt about journalists all along.

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Harper Lee Debate Rages On

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Since the announcement of Harper Lee’s forthcoming novel Go Set a Watchman, residents of Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, along with the general public, have questioned whether or not publishers are taking advantage of the eighty-eight year old author. Recently, however, Lee’s lawyer Tonja Carter insists that the author is “lucid.”

[Lee] is a very strong, independent, and wise woman who should be enjoying the discovery of her long lost novel,” Carter said.
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Harper Schmarper, It’s Kundera We Want

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Sure, everyone is jazzed about the new Harper Lee book (except for those of us who are worried). But here is a book we can all get behind—a new Milan Kundera novel to be translated to English this summer:

Faber described the new book as a “wryly comic yet deeply serious glance at the ultimate insignificance of life and politics, told through the daily lives of four friends in modern-day Paris”.

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Questioning Harper Lee’s Editor Answers

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Here’s an author who has staunchly refused interviews and publicity since 1960, who hasn’t breathed a word about her interest in publishing another book to either family or friends, but who is suddenly fine with releasing her decades-old Mockingbird prequel, despite the fact that it doesn’t sound like anyone at her publisher has actually been in touch with her about it?

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A Sequel, Five Decades Later

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Harper Lee is set to publish a sequel to her Pulitzer-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s only novel has sold more than 30 million copies and earns almost $4 million a year. Lee’s poor health, combined with more than five decades of literary silence, leads Modern Notion to question the motivation to suddenly publish a followup:

Some fans are confused about the timing of the book and wonder whether Lee was pressured into the decision.

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A Different Kind of Courtroom Battle for Harper Lee

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Well, this is all rather awkward: Harper Lee, who is now 87 and in an assisted-living facility, is suing the gift shop of a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, for trademark infringement.

The museum, “built around a refurbished version of the courtroom” from To Kill A Mockingbird, already got rid of gift-shop items like “Calpurnia’s Cookbook,” but retains other “unlicensed Mockingbird-related merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to tote bags to packages of ‘Mockingbird Lemonade Mix.'”

The whole story highlights a queasy give-and-take between crass commercialization, tradition, and a much-needed source of jobs and revenue in a small town.

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