Mixed feelings on Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman'

February 4, 2015 6:30 PM

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I first encountered Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" in ninth grade. Like so many others, I was struck not just by the book's vivid narrative of racial justice, but also by its nuance: the inner life of its narrator and its deft portrayal of small-town eccentricities, which its author would come to embody herself, to some extent.

After completing the novel — an international bestseller, it won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction — Lee helped her childhood friend Truman Capote (model for the character of Dill) research his 1966 nonfiction book "In Cold Blood." Then she pretty much retreated from literary life.

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