Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 2013: To Kill A Mockingbird

Thank you to everyone who turned out on this dreary and wet afternoon.  Special thanks to Margaret and Dawn (welcome Dawn, we all hope you enjoyed your first afternoon with us) for hot-footing it from the WIC Newcomers Coffee Morning, and to Naomi for re-arranging her day to be with us.

It was Naomi's last playreading, as she returns to the UK next week: we are truly sorry to lose you Naomi and hope that if ever your return visits coincide with the first Wednesday of the month you will come back and visit us.

Bye bye Naomi - come back and see us some time!
Today's play was a bit of a challenge - and my apologies to anyone who found it confusing with so many characters coming and going!  However, I think we all enjoyed revisiting (or visiting for the first time) this famous book which so many of us hold dear.  I think we all agreed that it is a wonderful work although somewhat emotionally draining.  I was wondering after whether she has read The Help, and, if so, what she made of it.

Harper Lee

After our discussions about Harper Lee and her reluctance to give interviews, I did a google.  I found this wonderful article which I have lifted directly from The Guardian's website. 
Article by Paula Cocozza, 28 June 2010 (link:  Do read this, it's wonderful (Brits will particularly enjoy the fact that the interview was with the Mail on Sunday):
It's nearly 50 years since the publication of To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning novel. Famously, Lee has spent most of the time since living a quiet life, which journalists commonly describe as reclusive, chiefly because although Lee is known in her Alabaman home town, she won't speak to the press, and has never published another novel.
So imagine the excitement when the Mail on Sunday devoted two pages to the story of a meeting between its writer Sharon Churcher and the legendarily silent novelist. "When [Harper Lee's] friends agreed to give our reporter an introduction, it was on one strict condition . . . Don't mention the Mockingbird" ran the preamble. This is how the meeting went (read it slowly, to make it last):
"Nervously, I approach the novelist, carrying the best box of chocolates I could find in the small Alabama town of Monroeville, a Hershey's selection costing a few dollars. I start to apologise that I hadn't brought more but a beaming Nelle – as her friends and family call her – extends her hand.
"'Thank you so much,' she told me. 'You are most kind. We're just going to feed the ducks but call me the next time you are here. We have a lot of history here. You will enjoy it.'"

Here's the original article, which is a bit longer than the interview!
However ...
I think what Jane had read was about the lawsuit Harper Lee against a small (not for profit) museum she claims is using Mockingbird to boost their profits:
Earlier this year she also sued her literary agent, claiming he has tricked her into handing copyright over to him:  The Daily Mail reported in September that this has been settled and that Lee is happy.
Links on the right of both those Guardian articles will take you to further articles about the famous recluse.
I finish with this photo of her taken in 2007.  I think it's rather cute!
Lee is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007

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