If you ever doubted that Harper Lee could write, if you ever bit on the rumor that, perhaps, Truman Capote had secretly written To Kill A Mockingbird (explaining why Lee never wrote again), then Go Set A Watchman should erase those doubts.
As we’ve talked about before, Lee wrote Watchman years before Mockingbird. It was Lee’s editor who helped turn the Watchman novel into the classic that eventually became To Kill A Mockingbird. So, when you read Go Set A Watchman, you’re actually reading Mockingbird‘s first draft. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Lee’s editor, Tay Hohoff, saw something in Lee. She realized the type of writing Harper Lee was capable of, and she helped draw that out of her.
If you’re familiar with Watchman‘s story, then you know it’s rather controversial. Atticus Finch has become a racist old man. Scout, who has recently returned to Maycomb from New York City, is shocked to find Atticus and her boyfriend, Hank Clinton, at an organized “we hate black people” meeting at the courthouse.
Jean Louise (Scout) is stunned. Read more
Here are just a few of my thoughts about what I’ve read so far. Read more
The recent release of Go Set A Watchman is an interesting case study in the development of a classic novel.
With the novel’s publication last week, the New York Times published an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the process that transformed Go Set A Watchman into To Kill A Mockingbird several years later. Read more
I made this novel such a priority to read that I paused the Time list in order to read it.
I figure this might be the only other novel I’ll ever read from Harper Lee, so I don’t want to miss this opportunity.
But I understand why some people refuse to read Go Set A Watchman. To Kill A Mockingbird was perfection…why mess with perfection? And was Harper Lee taken advantage of in order to get this novel published? And if it’s not a true sequel–Watchman was originally the first draft of TKAM–then what’s the point in reading it anyway?
I get all that. But let’s just say curiosity is getting the better of me on this one. So, as you know, I’ll be reading Go Set A Watchman and blogging about it–just as if it was another novel on the list.
But I want to know about you guys. Will you be reading Go Set A Watchman? Why or why not?
Wait a minute…what?
Yes, that’s Harper Lee’s newest novel released two days ago.
No, it’s obviously not on the list of All-Time novels released in 2005.
Yes, I’ll be temporarily pushing the pause button on reading the Time list to focus on Go Set a Watchman.
Why? Read more
I’m a sucker for satire.
Any novel that has well-written characters with a witty sense of humor draws me in almost immediately. White Teeth was one of those novels.
The novel opens with a bang, a failed suicide attempt, seemingly a dark way to start a story. But Zadie Smith navigates that beautifully, writing with dark humor while illustrating one of the main character’s incredible lack of confidence. Read more