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"To Kill a Mockingbird

I Don't Think Atticus Would Like It

Bil Hitchcock | Posted 11.05.2015 | Arts
Bil Hitchcock

Monroeville, AL, home of Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird, has produced a staging of the story, in the original courthouse and area upon which it was based... for the last 28 years.

I Yam What I Yam, Ms. Brene Brown: In Strong Defense Of Atticus Finch

Margaret Hession | Posted 10.02.2015 | Books
Margaret Hession

Right now, those who hate Atticus Finch don't hate him because he's racist. They dislike him because he's imperfect and because he signals to them and us, mirror-wise, that we are imperfect too. Where is our false perfected idol gone?

13 Important Stories to Celebrate Banned Books Week

Off The Shelf | Posted 10.01.2015 | Books
Off The Shelf

Greatness often breeds controversy. This has been the case for acclaimed books throughout history. Harry Potter for its glorification of witchcraft, Go Ask Alice for its depiction of harrowing teen drug use, and Brave New World for its unsettling vision of the future, but we love them anyway.

"WeHo Reads: Banned Books" Brings Together Literature, Art and Film

Lisa Derrick | Posted 09.24.2015 | Arts
Lisa Derrick

When the left and right agree on something, it's time to realize that books, art and ideas, even if we disagree with them, are vital to our growth as individuals and as a society.

Murder Mystery: What Happened To Harper Lee's True-Crime Novel?

Associated Press | David Lohr | Posted 09.09.2015 | Crime

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Who Needs "Likable" Characters? Not Jonathan Franzen, or Me

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 09.05.2015 | Books
Pamela Feinsilber

I really perked up when the conversation turned to the notion of likability. Who says we have to like a character? Yet Franzen claims that "the safest thing" in writing fiction is not caring what the reader wants, in the sense of realizing, "Not everyone will like this guy."

I Don't Control a Lot of Things, But I Can Control What I Read

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 08.26.2015 | Black Voices
The University of Central Florida Forum

There was the time this summer when my 13-year-old daughter asked me questions that I didn't know how to answer: "Will the police help me if I need help? Will they kill me, mom? Will they kill you?" I didn't want to answer her, because the truth of the matter is that I could have answered each of those questions with, "It's possible."

A Timeless Beach Read to Treasure and Savor

Off The Shelf | Posted 08.25.2015 | Books
Off The Shelf

Writers come and go with new generations. Young readers today might not know Rosamunde Pilcher. But her books remain as timeless as the classics. I treasure all her books, but The Shell Seekers is her masterpiece. Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy and savor every word.

The Liberation of Atticus Finch

Byron Williams | Posted 08.20.2015 | Books
Byron Williams

But Watchman reveals a truth central to the human condition: None of us are as moral as the ideals we embrace, not even Atticus Finch. There is perhaps no better example than Thomas Jefferson.

Still Setting the Watchman

Barbara Stark-Nemon | Posted 08.13.2015 | Books
Barbara Stark-Nemon

Here are five reasons I still think Go Set a Watchman is important, worth reading and if not a great and enduring literary event, then at least a very interesting one.

Even Harper Lee Isn't Allowed To Ruin Mockingbird

Eric Mink | Posted 08.05.2015 | Books
Eric Mink

Protecting the transcendent magic of To Kill A Mockingbird is now the responsibility of the middle school and high school teachers who will introduce the work to new generations of readers. I'll tap into the novel's optimism for the future and say I'm hopeful the teachers will succeed.

A Watchman Sets a Mockingbird Free

Michelle Blair Wilker | Posted 08.03.2015 | Books
Michelle Blair Wilker

With the recent discovery and publication of Go Set a Watchman we are faced with disillusionment of our first fictional love, but we have earned clues into the writing process of a literary genius and opened up a much-needed dialogue about literature and race relations.

Reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" as an Adult

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.03.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

Flannery O'Connor damned the novel with pretty faint praise when it came out: "I think for a child's book it does all right." That seems unduly harsh (and unfair to YA literature). What works best for me as an adult reader is the slow accretion of local color, the barbed social comedy, and the graceful prose.

Growing Up: The Transition From To Kill a Mockingbird to Go Set a Watchman

Emily Hay | Posted 07.31.2015 | Teen
Emily Hay

Go set a Watchman is about growing up and realizing that your own parents are no more than flawed human beings too, learning how to stand by your own values -- set your own watchman if you will -- and still be able to live alongside those you disagree with.

Five Reasons to Read Go Set a Watchman

Loretta Bolger Wish | Posted 07.30.2015 | Books
Loretta Bolger Wish

Whatever its flaws, editors saw enough potential in Watchman to help cherry-pick its flashbacks and fashion them into To Kill a Mockingbird. Nothing can diminish that masterpiece. Not even the more modest work that formed its foundation.

Deconstructing Atticus Finch: In Praise of Monroe Freedman

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 07.24.2015 | Books
Bennett L. Gershman

Nobody is perfect, not even Atticus Finch. But to a generation of readers -- including lawyers -- the Atticus Finch portrayed in Harper Lee's just-published novel "Go Set a Watchman" is not the Atticus Finch of Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird. "

What if it's not About Atticus?

Kristine Holmgren | Posted 07.23.2015 | Books
Kristine Holmgren

If you are reluctant to read Watchman because you love Atticus, get over yourself. This best-seller is not about an old, white man. It's about a strong, iconoclastic, brilliant woman -- powerful and caring.

Go Set A Watchman: A Lesson on Inclusion in the Literary Industry

Deborah Plummer | Posted 07.21.2015 | Books
Deborah Plummer

As a multicultural society, we can no longer afford segregation in the publishing industry comprised of select gatekeepers who define the literary landscape based on their worldview. Words create worlds and the literary industry should represent a much broader one.

Atticus Finch, Representative American

David S. Reynolds | Posted 07.21.2015 | Black Voices
David S. Reynolds

Even America's most admirable people were products of their respective cultures. We can learn from their repugnant moments, just as the older Atticus can serve as an example not to follow. But we should treasure the moments when these figures transcended their times and stood for democracy in the broadest sense.

Harper Lee's 'Go Set A Watchman' Sales Hit 1.1 Million

Associated Press | Katherine Brooks | Posted 07.21.2015 | Arts

NEW YORK (AP) — Critics dismissed it as a rough draft for "To Kill a Mockingbird" and readers despaired over an aging, racist Atticus Finch. Bu...

The "Mockingbird" That Might Have Hatched -- But Didn't. A review of "Go Set a Watchman"

Chris Bohjalian | Posted 07.20.2015 | Books
Chris Bohjalian

Enormous changes? You bet. But not unheard of in the evolution of many novels. I have made edits to drafts of my own work every bit as dramatic. Exhibit A? "The Double Bind" was originally a first person novel. Exhibit B? There was no courtroom drama in my earliest pages of "Midwives."

The Art of the First Draft

Marshall Fine | Posted 07.20.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A few years ago, a film historian unearthed what he claimed was the only existing copy of the first version of John Cassavetes' film, Shadows. He ultimately was told to cease and desist because he had no right to the film.

Atticus Has Left the Building

Richard J. Rosendall | Posted 07.17.2015 | Gay Voices
Richard J. Rosendall

With people spray-painting rebukes on statues of John C. Calhoun and Robert E. Lee across the South, who would have thought the first icon to be pulled off his pedestal would be Atticus Finch?

Harper Lee's Complex Heroes

Tom Morris | Posted 07.17.2015 | Books
Tom Morris

There's almost too much to talk about in the new book Go Set a Watchman. I loved it, then I hated it, and then I loved it again. Finally, I went away deeply impressed by the way it raises fundamental social, political and personal issues of a philosophical nature.

I Need to Believe In (the Original) Atticus Finch

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 07.17.2015 | Books
The University of Central Florida Forum

I created Atticus Finch? I never saw the film, but whatever. Of course, I created him. We all did. Lee's character Atticus is no longer hers. He's all of ours now.