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Monday, 13 July 2015

Don't Mock Harper's PR - this is a genuine publicity stunt.

There's been nothing quite like it since Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned in 1960 or children's author JK Rowling finally  emerged as a crime writer...  readers just  love a controversy.

So it's  no surprise that  Harper Lee's sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird has hit the headlines on the day before it's due to hit the shops. After all, Go Set a Watchman has been eagerly anticipated for the last 50  years.

The problem is caused by Atticus Finch, the pro-equality lawyer at the centre of the original book who has reappeared as a racist bigot in the follow-up, according to today's Times Newspaper (and quite a few other tomes a well.)  Strange how this 'news' seems so relevant right now.

So what would I prefer to hear about? I really enjoyed the article in last weekend's Guardian about actress Mary Badham, who at just nine years old played  Scout, the lead role in the film of To Kill a Mockingbird. Her leading man was, of course, Gregory Peck, whom she  regarded as a surrogate father for much of her early life. Mary retired from acting when she was just fourteen - now that's some career path!

Interestingly, my favourite Times columnist Melanie Reid has  a few words  to say about both Scout
and  Harper Lee in her Notebook today.  Of the author she writes: 'She never wanted publicity or fame. I struggle to believe she would change her mind in old age. For me, it is faintly sick: the news reporters standing on the pavement outside her care home; directing cameras at the windows, or interviewing townsfolk; while the critics wait with sharpened pens for those once-rejected words.

Admittedly some of  Melanie Reid's thoughts  in this piece are a little tongue-in-cheek. But I prefer to believe that she says it like it is.



Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I've not been to visit you for a while – where do the months go?
I can see I’ve missed quite a few of your posts, never mind I will enjoy catching up.
Have your or will you read Go set a watchman? I must admit I’ve not been anxious to buy a copy, but I’m sure curiosity will get the better of me in the end.
I hope life is being good to you. x

Guernsey Girl said...

Hello Barbara - it's really lovely to hear from you. I have to admit that I've been spending time with my two lovely granddaughters rather than reading frinds' posts but I do hope that is forgiven as summer time is so precious. I have got a copy of Go Set A Watchman, but not actually started on it yet as so many things seem to have got my attention! Please keep this a secret :) x

Barbara Fisher said...

Good for you Marilyn, spending time with your granddaughters is time well spent. I can’t wait to spend time with mine. I’m sort of wishing the months away until December when we will all be together, but I don’t want to wish the summer away so it’s a bit of a quandary.
I will be interesting to hear what you think of Go set a watchman. I am very tempted to buy a copy but already have enough books to keep me going for the next twenty years. x

Guernsey Girl said...

This summer more than ever, Barbara, I have concentrated on my family - they are still the most important part of my life. Good to hear that you feel the same. x