Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dangit, Harper

I was excited to get it; I was disappointed to read it. The much anticipated "follow up" to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is no follow-up at all; rather, Go Set a Watchman is the rough draft of Lee's famous (iconic) work -- before editors, Lee's rewrites, and Capote (I dare say) got to it. I'd been hoping for a completely different book, or a stand-on-its-own sequel. Sadly, Watchman is a lumpy, disconnected "collection" of small-town vignettes --no plot, really, unless you count the angry politicizing the young adult Jean Louise (fresh out of New York, back home for a visit) hurls at her father, her suitor, her Uncle Jack and her Aunt Alexandra. Go Set a Watchman wasn't published before now because it wasn't a well-developed, interesting, memorable read. The only reason it's being published now is to sell millions of copies to Mockingbird fans who were excited to discover their beloved Harper Lee had written something --anything -- else, even if this something else turned out to be a novice writer's first (polished) draft. Go Set a Watchman isn't horrible. It just isn't very good.


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