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Tidewater Review by Anne Stinson

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. An imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. 278 pages. $27.99.

made a racial bigot. If so, I argued to myself, why would I have wanted to read that a hero was previously drawn as a southern redneck? I waited until Friday to turn the first page, prepared to feel sick. Watchman required changing the picture. Unlike Mockingbird, the book opens with Scout returning home as a 27-year-old for her usual two-week vacation trip to visit her

Ha r p er L e e’s b o ok G o S e t a Watchman was rejected for publication in the 1950s. Her agent urged her to rewrite it. It won Ms. Lee a Pulitzer Prize for her final draft, To Kill a Mockingbird. The original draft was released on July 20, 2015, at midnight. On Wednesday, July 22, at noon it was in my mailbox, a gift from daughter Bess. She knew how I cherished the wonderful story in Mockingbird about the children Scout, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus Finch. I was definitely uncertain that I wanted to read the early preface of Mockingbird after reading reviews of Watchman. Nearly every review was negative, complaining about Ms. Lee’s original draf t, now in print. In Mockingbird, Atticus is an honorable lawyer who fought a brave, predictable, losing court case against an innocent black man. His children adored him. In the new-old version, the critics said, Atticus was 73

September 2015 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times September 2015

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