For Mockingbird and Harper Lee devotees.

WHY TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD MATTERS

WHAT HARPER LEE'S BOOK AND THE ICONIC AMERICAN FILM MEAN TO US TODAY

A detailed account of a classic novel’s context, transformation, and acclaim.

Translated into 40 languages, with sales of some 40 million copies since its publication in 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has become famous worldwide. Adapted on film, it earned its star, Gregory Peck, an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, a role that defined him for the rest of his career. In an affectionate homage, media journalist and Broadway show manager Santopietro (The Sound of Music Story: How a Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time, 2015, etc.) asserts that Lee’s novel still sends a relevant message to 21st-century readers. “By wrapping a nostalgic look back at childhood around a clear-eyed gaze at how racism diminishes and damages an entire community,” he maintains, Lee offers a way to perceive “America’s racial history with a fresh set of eyes.” Most of Santopietro’s book, though, does not elaborate any more deeply on why Lee’s novel matters, or to whom. He covers ground that Joseph Crespino examined in his recently published Atticus Finch: Lee’s youth in Alabama; her relationship with her father, a lawyer and model for Atticus; her friendship with Truman Capote; the prolonged writing and revising of the novel, which became an immediate bestseller; and her subsequent writing career, which ended in the long-awaited publication of Go Set a Watchman. To this biographical overview, Santopietro adds a close look at the movie’s creation: with Alan Pakula as producer, Robert Mulligan as director, and Horton Foote as screenwriter; and with Gregory Peck (rather than Lee’s ardent hope of Spencer Tracy) to play Atticus. The author details casting decisions, especially the search for the perfect girl to play Scout; and the work of designing costumes and constructing sets on the Universal backlot to bring Lee’s Alabama town to life. He conveys, as well, critics’ reception of the movie and summarizes the major figures’ post-Mockingbird careers.

For Mockingbird and Harper Lee devotees.

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-16375-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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