Monday, June 05, 2006


This sounds interesting... new book about Nelle "Harper" Lee.

Jean Louise Finch is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. And Bridget Jones. And Holden and Phoebe Caulfield. And Harry Potter. And Rob Gordon. Okay, this is something that needs to be addressed in another post.

For thousands of postwar American women, Scout is a touchstone of childhood authenticity. In some Mary Pipheresque prelapsarian state, we were all Scout once: unfiltered, free-ranging, with a physical confidence rooted in a prepubescent androgyny -- qualities inevitably poisoned by the idiotic affectations of adolescence. (When she senses the feminizing agenda her stuffy aunt has in store for her, Scout feels "the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in" on her.) Lee's magic (which some early critics perceived as a failure) was in ventriloquizing the experiences of a 6-year old in the voice of a grown woman, offering a bridge back to childhood. As a motherless child, Scout demonstrates how children treat life's curveballs as what happens, not what shouldn't happen, and adjust their expectations accordingly.

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