Monday, October 23, 2006


Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields - It was nice to delve into the life of the author of my favorite book. Since Lee is somewhat of a recluse and hasn't granted an interview since a couple of decades ago, culling the information was quite the challenge for the author (which he states in the introduction). The book is an interesting read except for the middle portion where Lee assists Truman Capote with his work on In Cold Blood. At that point, it's tough to tell whether it's a book about Lee or Capote. In all fairness, Capote does play a major part in Lee's life, having grown up together in Monroeville, AL. Later in the book, the author probes the question of why Lee never wrote another book. That question, it seems, doesn't have a solid answer and Lee isn't telling. All in all, this was an enjoyable read which shed, at least, a little light on the life of Harper Lee.
It's interesting to note that where Lee grew up (and lives still) is only a couple of hours away from my hometown of Pensacola, FL. I've been there, shopping at the Vanity Fair Outlet before it closed. It's a shame that I never sought out the courthouse that was the model for the one in To Kill A Mockingbird. Through this book I also found out that the town does a play of the book once a year in the actual courthouse. That would be something to see. Next time I get home, I may have to travel to the sleepy town of Monroeville. Who knows, maybe I'll take my copy of To Kill A Mockingbird in the hopes that I might run into Lee and get an autograph. I could say Boo Radley sent me. I'm sure she never hears that.

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