Posts Tagged: To Kill a Mockingbird

The Colonizer

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It felt like one of those soundtracks where the needle scrapes across the record, and silence prevails. ...more

What to Read When Everyone Is Celebrating Dads

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Whether you are celebrating your father or cursing his name this Father's Day, here's a list of very good books about fathers from writers we love. ...more

Harper Lee’s Estate Kills Low Cost Edition

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The estate of Harper Lee will no longer allow the publication of the mass market paperback edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s estate is expected to earn higher royalties from the trade paperback, which sold 22,554 copies so far this year compared to the 55,367 copies of the mass market paperbacks.

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The Rumpus Interview with Cote Smith

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Cote Smith talks about his debut novel, Hurt People, growing up in a prison town, using rejection as motivation, and brotherly love. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jonathan Travelstead

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I try to...consider the writing process as seriously as I do entering a house with black smoke puffing from its eaves. ...more

It’s Okay that You Haven’t Read Finnegans Wake (Really)

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Over at Hazlitt, Sarah Galo and Elon Green have cornered a handful of authors, from Renata Adler to Celeste Ng, into admitting their literary gaps, from Finnegans Wake to To Kill a Mockingbird. Something we should keep in mind is that there is more work produced every day than a single person can get to in their lifetime; it’s harder now than it was for Milton—let that soothe you when you feel a pang for having never got to Don Quixote.

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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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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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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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Brown Bag Your American Literature, Quick

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Michael Gove, Britain’s Education Secretary, is rewriting Britain’s public school curriculum to be more British. To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Crucible are among the titles being dropped from required reading lists.

“I put this in the context of what’s going on in Europe and the world at large, which is a growing nationalism, a growing suspicion of other people’s perspectives and ideas and values,” says Christopher Bigsby, professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia and author of a biography of Miller.

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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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