On “Killing Our Heroes”: Atticus Finch & Harper Lee

Tonja Carter, the lawyer currently serving as Harper Lee’s new “watchman,” is still at it. Now, she says that Lee may have written a third novel (a rumor that’s been around since the Watchman announcement, as I mention in my “Killing Our Heroes” post).

In the Wall Street Journal (July 13, 2015), Carter speculates: “What of the other pages that have for decades sat in the Lord & Taylor box on top of ‘Watchman’? Was it an earlier draft of ‘Watchman,’ or of ‘Mockingbird,’ or even, as early correspondence indicates it might be, a third book bridging the two? I don’t know.”

Carter’s uncertainty would make sense if she were managing a literary estate. However, Harper Lee is still alive.

So, now I’m wondering: If Harper Lee has the competence to publish Watchman, why can’t she just tell us how many novels she wrote?

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Harper Lees Lumpy Tale

Did you hear that Atticus Finch is an unapologetic racist in Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the sequel early draft of To Kill a Mockingbird?

The novel has been marketed as a sequel to Lee’s Mockingbird — an agent of Lee’s even suggested that Watchman was meant to be the final installment of a trilogy — but, as the La Times says in its guarded review of Lee’s latest publication, “It would be a mistake to read Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ as a sequel to her 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’” (Just as I thought).

The stories surrounding the origin and discovery of Watchman have never made any sense. HarperCollins and Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, have claimed that Carter herself was the one who discovered the draft in the fall of 2014, even going so far as to quote then-88-year-old Lee as…

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    1. I hope so too, though I wonder whether the bar would do anything about it. Tonja Carter’s response in the WSJ is just ridiculous. It’s basically an admission that her client isn’t competent (which makes me so sad!).

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