Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird

Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird

Mary McDonagh Murphy

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0061924075

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s beloved classic To Kill a Mockingbird, filmmaker Mary Murphy has interviewed prominent figures—including Oprah, Anna Quindlen, and Tom Brokaw—on how the book has impacted their lives. These interviews are compiled in Scout, Atticus, and Boo, the perfect companion to one of the most important American books of the 20th Century. Scout, Atticus, and Boo will also feature a foreword from acclaimed writer Wally Lamb.

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and they were tough on me. They would come to me, just like Scout did. “Why are you doing this? Have you thought this through?” I think that they could identify with her. I still have letters that my daughters wrote to me about things that I thought they should do, and they had their own minds made up about why they were going to do it. And they were good lawyer’s briefs. I like to think that as Scout grew older, that she would have evolved in the same way as a teenager. We hear her voice,

the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum. Now, I teach my students that, forget the adjectives, it’s all about the verbs: “flicked flies,” “sagged in the square,” “sweltered in.” It’s all there. It is a one-paragraph course on writing. Writers evoke things that readers can see and hear, but I

writing of my third novel, it’s been somewhat intimidating to do because of the reception of the first two novels. Now, I have no idea whether Harper Lee struggled against that kind of stuff. I just know that it does change the equation when people are waiting for a novel or writing you letters saying, “Aren’t you done yet?” So every sentence becomes something that you worry about. The best days for me as a writer are the days when I can get up from the desk and open the door of my office and

harshness, in a way. It doesn’t blunt it. It justifies it. I think there are certain books in which the characters are so real and so vivid that you feel as though they’ve become close personal friends. And that goes a long way to explaining why books last. That’s the reason why A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which in many ways could feel quite antiquated, still sells every year, because Francie is somebody that readers feel as though they know, and so they revisit her over and over again. I think

one. I am grateful to all the people I interviewed, especially Wally Lamb. Many thanks to Elizabeth Buerger and Romy Feder for research, to my former 60 Minutes colleague Bryony Kockler, who lent her considerable skills to the project; and to Megan Axthelm Brown, a fantastic production manager and a remarkable person. Many more friends and colleagues heard me out, spurred me on, and gave me valuable feedback: Ben Cheever and Janet Maslin, Jennifer and Craig Whitaker, Frank Delaney and Diane

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