Harper Lee to Publish Sequel to "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Discussion in 'Books' started by FArting, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. FArting

    FArting Lopes Up!

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  2. Avondale Red Rage

    Avondale Red Rage Just wondering...

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  3. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    Ironically, this book was written first.
     
  4. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    No wonder Harper Lee stayed silent, with critics like these

    http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...r-lee-go-set-a-watchman-to-kill-a-mockingbird

    For just over half a century, Nelle Harper Lee has been the great mystery of the literary world – not so much a “what if” as a “why?” Why would a woman who had written such an extraordinary debut novel never write another book? Why would such a beloved author throw down her shutters against all publicity, all fans, all demands on her time? Why?

    The most likely answer was given by her older sister, Alice, who told documentary filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy that Lee had long ago simply said, “I haven’t anywhere to go, but down.”

    The first chapter of Go Set a Watchman was published at the weekend in the Guardian, 55 years to the day after To Kill a Mockingbird, and embargos have already been broken by reviewers releasing their verdicts before the book’s publication on Tuesday. And lo, the public and critical reaction has firmly vindicated Lee’s decision long ago to reject the outside world and put down her pen.

    Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman before To Kill a Mockingbird and it was rejected by her publisher. She spent two years reworking Watchman, setting it two decades earlier and changing the narrator, which turned it into the novel so beloved today. So despite the chronology, Watchman is not the sequel to Mockingbird – it is a first draft.

    And yet, in reviews it has been compared unfavourably to its follow-up, as though it were somehow a surprise that an unedited (Lee reportedly told her editor she wanted Watchman released as it was written), rejected first draft should be inferior to one that was published and became a classic. “Lacks the lyricism of Mockingbird,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times; “less likeable,” Mark Lawson wrote in the Guardian. The comparisons with Mockingbird, which Lee allegedly feared so much she never wrote again, have been as predictable as they are inevitable. But they are not, despite what reviewers seem to think, requisite or revealing.

    Then we come to the plot differences between the two books. The first, which is revealed in the first chapter, is that Jean Louise Finch’s brother is dead – as fans of Mockingbird quickly realised, this means Jem. Seeing as so many readers have long read Mockingbird as Lee’s quasi-autobiography, this is not a surprise, as Lee’s own older brother, Edwin, died suddenly in adulthood.

    More shocking, apparently, is the revelation that Atticus Finch, the morally upright lawyer of Mockingbird, is in Watchman a racist who argues for segregation. This, the New York Times fretted, “could reshape Ms Lee’s legacy”, as though it were Watchman itself that were racist (which it isn’t – Jean Louise is horrified by her father’s attitude), as opposed to a fictional character. “As far as literary scandals go,” tutted the Daily Mail, “it couldn’t get much worse.”
     
  5. DemsMyBoys

    DemsMyBoys Registered

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    Harper Lee was a virtual recluse who shunned the spotlight. She has suffered from dementia for years and is blind and deaf. Her estate, including publishing rights and royalties, is a mess and the subject of numerous lawsuits by people wanting to make themselves wealthy off of her work.

    When she was still capable of speaking for herself and making decisions.,.she chose to not publish this or any other book. We have no way of telling if what is being published has been changed or edited. Harper isn't capable of telling us. I won't be reading it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  6. Avondale Red Rage

    Avondale Red Rage Just wondering...

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    Finished this yesterday. I've given it 5 stars, but have been unable to nail down what I would say in a review. Any other author or book, I may have put it down after the first 50 pages (especially hearing some of the negative chatter after its release), but by the time I turned the last page, I wanted to read it again, but slower, so I could soak in it.

    I believe after the dust settles, this will be another timeless piece by Lee.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. ajcardfan

    ajcardfan I see you. Contributor

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    The knee jerk reaction to the book is what I hated so much in my humanities and English classes in college. You've got to put a work of art in it's own context of time and place IMO. A society's values change over time and to judge a work based only current society values is well, just unfair.

    I'm sure some literature students are going to earn PhDs analyzing the changes between the two works, putting them in societal context. I seriously doubt anyone will have the thesis of "OMG! Harper Lee hated black people!"
     
  8. Avondale Red Rage

    Avondale Red Rage Just wondering...

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    This spoke to me some after my reading of Go Set A Watchman. I think asking Lee to go back and give the story a more mythical narrative, one that fits the white establishment, or as Daniel Quinn calls in Ishmael: "mother culture", is this book would have never seen the light of day in 1957 had it been published, and not because it 'stunk'.

    On readers reacquainting themselves with Atticus:

    "And despite the passage of time he really hasn’t changed at all. Despite what some sensation-seeking book reviewers, shocked readers, and disoriented English teachers will tell you, he’s pretty much the same man he always was. We finally have his backstory in print."

    http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broa...-with-us-reflection-on-go-set-a-watchman.html
     

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