Melinda's Reviews > I am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee

I am Scout by Charles J. Shields
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Apr 24, 2012

really liked it

Melinda Dye - Biography

"I Am Scout" chronicles the life of American writer Harper Lee. Growing up in poor, rural Monroeville, Alabama, Nelle Harper Lee was obviously different from her more genteel classmates; brash, opinionated, and not the ladylike creature she was expected to be. This book shares many facets of her life, from the businesslike courtship of her parents, her mother's mental illness, her struggles to find her place in college, and her disenchantment with law school. It also covers in depth her longtime friendship with Truman Capote, from playing together constantly as children, to her (uncredited) assistance on Capote's "In Cold Blood," to his jealousy over her win of the Pulitzer Prize he thought should be his, and their subsequent estrangement. And, of course, it covers the years she spent writing her true American classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird," and the writing and filming of the seminal movie.

I really enjoyed this book; there was so much information on Harper Lee's life, and how incredibly smart and driven she was. For example, I never knew she worked for an airline; that Truman Capote only got most of his information for "In Cold Blood" due to her smoothing the way with the local townsfolk; and that she spent one of the happiest times of her life at Oxford, tracing the steps and visiting the places mentioned by some of her favorite authors. A great read for a biography fan!!
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