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Elspeth
07-12-2015, 07:49 PM
For those who have been following the Harper Lee story, after her death a manuscript was found. The contents are, apparently not so good for the legacy of Lee's iconic character.


Harper Lee literary bombshell: Atticus Finch depicted as racist bigot in Go Set a Watchman
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11733182/Harper-Lee-literary-bombshell-Atticus-Finch-depicted-as-racist-bigot-in-Go-Set-a-Watchman.html

For fans of Harper Lee, there is a new literary sensation. Atticus Finch, the beloved champion of racial justice in her best-selling novel To Kill a Mockingbird, is portrayed in her eagerly-anticipated new book as a racist bigot, according to the first US reviews.

The damning depiction in Go Set a Watchmen will be as shocking for Mockingbird fans as the revelation earlier this year that a second novel by the reclusive author was to be published after the discovery of a long-lost manuscript.

In Lee’s 1960 masterpiece, Atticus Finch was a small-town Alabama lawyer who defended a black man wrongly accused of rape by a white woman, and in the process took on the prejudice and hatred of the Deep South in the 1930s.

Those courtroom heroics, captured by Gregory Peck in the Hollywood adaptation of the film two years later, turned him a principled, almost idealised role model for generations of American readers.

Some named their children Atticus in his honour; others were inspired by his character to law school to fight for civil liberties.

But in Go Set a Watchman, set 20 years later, the narrator Scout, his now adult daughter, is horrified when she returns to find her father spewing racist tirades and attending protest meetings by local whites fighting federal de-segregation.

He delivers observations such as: “The Negroes down here are still in their childhood as a people.” And he asks his daughter: “Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theatres? Do you want them in our world?

“Do you want your children going to a school that’s been dragged down to accommodate Negro children?”

Go Set a Watchman will be published on Tuesday in what is widely described as the publishing event of the decade. But some major US publications, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, published their reviews on Friday night.

And the revelation that Finch is an unapologetic racist who defends segregation proved an inevitable bombshell on social media.

In the New York Times, chief reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes: “Go Set a Watchman is a distressing book, one that delivers a startling rebuttal to the shining idealism of To Kill a Mockingbird. This story is of the toppling of idols; its major theme is disillusion.

noonwitch
07-13-2015, 09:27 AM
Harper Lee is still alive.


I'll wait for the reviews after the entire book is released before deciding whether to read it myself or not. I already read that Jem is dead before the novel starts.

NJCardFan
07-13-2015, 11:07 AM
For those who have been following the Harper Lee story, after her death a manuscript was found. The contents are, apparently not so good for the legacy of Lee's iconic character.
This alone destroys the credibility of the article. Lee is very much alive.