Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

To Kill a Mockingbird
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To Kill A Mockingbird > Harper Lee

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Becky (beckyofthe19and9) What do you think about the stories about Harper Lee? She rarely does interviews and did not attend any events for To Kill a Mockingbird's 50th anniversary. Any thoughts?

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 45 comments I've been offline for a few days so I haven't heard any stories but my intial thought is that she was 34 when she wrote the book 50 years ago. Maybe she isn't up to being in the spotlight? Without knowing what they are saying, I can't really say for sure but that was my thought when I saw this topic.

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I highly recommend the book Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird for readers who have loved To Kill a Mockingbird. People are interviewed about their thoughts and feelings about the book, including people who know Harper, including her oldest sister. Very interesting book!

message 4: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
This is a really slow book club read!

Anyways... I find it interesting that this book is considered a autobiography! Many details of To Kill a Mockingbird are apparently autobiographical. Like Lee, the tomboy (Scout) is the daughter of a respected small-town Alabama attorney. The plot involves a legal case, the workings of which would have been familiar to Lee, who studied law. Scout's friend Dill was inspired by Lee's childhood friend and neighbor, Truman Capote,[7:] while Lee is the model for a character in Capote's first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Harper Lee has downplayed autobiographical parallels. Yet Truman Capote, mentioning the character Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, described details he considered biographical: "In my original version of Other Voices, Other Rooms I had that same man living in the house that used to leave things in the trees, and then I took that out. He was a real man, and he lived just down the road from us. We used to go and get those things out of the trees. Everything she wrote about it is absolutely true. But you see, I take the same thing and transfer it into some Gothic dream, done in an entirely different way."

message 5: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Aug 18, 2010 08:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
In a way maybe Harper Lee mirror's Boo Radley, locked in his house?

Here is the website for the book you are talking about Lisa... looks great:

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Angie, Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book, especially for those (like me) who love To Kill a Mockingbird.

Thanks for that link, Angie. I really want to see the documentary when it's available.

And, most first novels do have autobiographical content. Read the SA &B book and it helps to see what's fiction and what's more factual.

Julia | 432 comments I'm now reading Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird and after that two biographies of Harper Lee I am Scout and Mockingbird both by Shields.
*Then* I'm reading the play of TKaM by Christopher Sergel...

Murphy quotes Lee: "I am alive, although very quiet." Wally Lamb writes in the introduction to S,A & B : "So to my way of thinkin', the wise and wonderful Harper Lee is, simultaneously, Boo, Scout, the sheriff, and the mockingbird. She may not grant interviews, but she is still singing away via her 1960 masterpiece."

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