july 11 is the 50th anniversary of harper lee’s to kill a mockingbird.
what a great op-ed in today’s l.a. times. written by kerry madden, who has been working on a biography on the elusive harper lee. she writes of the power of small town storytellers and the richness of their tales. most are in their 80s and 90s, but were so interwoven into the community and knew both harper lee and neighbor truman capote well. their tales make a rich fabric of a time gone by, of small towns and moments of bravery (standing up to the KKK), of doing the right thing and living a life worth living.
In her last in-depth interview about writing, Harper Lee talked about her hometown, Monroeville, Ala., in 1964, telling Roy Newquist:
We simply entertained each other by talking. It’s quite a thing, if you’ve never been in or known a small Southern town. The people are not particularly sophisticated, naturally. They’re not worldly wise in any way. But they tell you a story whenever they see you. We’re oral types — we talk.
and so, here’s to the story-catchers and to boo and atticus and scout. my life is so much richer because harper lee followed her true path…
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