Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.
Harper Lee, O Magazine (June 2006)
|Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch|
I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.
Harper Lee, quoted in Newquist (1964)
The brilliance of her novel lies in the fact that whoever reads it (wherever that reader may be in the world, or how far removed in time from the 1930s in which the story is set) will not come away from the experience without the deep sense that something of value has been added to their understanding of the world.
To share my experience of the book, I must take you back to the times of Apartheid South Africa, when I read it as a set work to exclusively white students, demanding that they, too, climb into someone else's skin and walk around in it. Over a period of 27 years, I have returned repeatedly to the novel for literary study and each time, I tell my class that I am about to give them a gift that no one will ever take away from them. Happily, I am now able to offer it to classes which exclude no one.
Harper Lee is our source of inspiration on this Sunday. With no further instructions or restrictions I ask you to focus your writing on a theme, quote, character or personal experience related to To Kill a Mockingbird, in any form you choose.
For a list of quotes visit the Goodreads page.