Friday, May 22, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird

... or, as my son Kelvin, a Hunger Games fan, says, he'll always want to call it "To Kill a Mockinjay" :-)

I didn't grow up in his country. Yes, I majored in in English, but this was not one of the books I read in my 20th Century American Lit. class.

So I hadn't read it until now, until today. I bought it after I became aware of the brouhaha and excitement caused by the upcoming publication of Mockingbird's "sequel."

WOW, what a book! I really knew nothing about it or about the author, which is such a gift nowadays. In an age of pervasive information overload, ignorance is not bliss, it's a rare gift.

So I was delighted when I found out that Dill was modeled on Capote, Harper Lee's childhood friend, and that I was 100% right in realizing that that fascinating little boy was gay. (I still need to watch Capote with genius Phillip Seymour Hoffman -- still sad about his death. Fame is often perilous). I also had no idea that her father had been a lawyer and that there are many other autobiographical traces in the novel

In any case, what a joy to read such a masterpiece! Makes me long for reading and teaching literature. Oh, if I could just get the job! I think it would be a most welcome career change. Sigh...

And how relevant to read a book about racism and lopsided race relations after the past few years' deaths of young black men at the hands of police or vigilantes. This country has come a long way, but it has not overcome racism.

I'd love to talk more about this book some other time! Now I want to see the Gregory Peck movie and watch the documentary (I'm all about linking to The Post today! ;-).

1 comment:

What Now? said...

I somehow didn't read that novel until I was an adult ... and wow, it really is wonderful, isn't it?