"" Writer's Wanderings: Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

Last night I finished this remarkable book by Charles Shields. I was drawn to it when I learned that Harper Lee, or rather Nelle Harper Lee, never published another novel. To Kill a Mockingbird was her first and only published book. As a writer my curiosity was aroused. Why would anyone who wrote such a compelling work, received a Pulitzer, and sold movie rights never get published again?

Ms. Lee is an enigma. Through the years, she has granted few interviews, been very selective in her personal appearances and thoroughly guarded her private life as much as possible. There was much talk about a second novel but from the information gathered by Shields from friends and those who had any contact with her through the years, it appears she worked on one or two ideas and for whatever reason, fear of failure or failure to follow through, she never passed another manuscript on to her publisher.

Much is said about her relationship to Truman Capote. They were childhood friends and Lee, according to Shields, had a lot to do with Capote's writing of In Cold Blood.

Mockingbird is a good read and very interesting. It left me to ponder though: what would I do if my first published novel took the path of such success? I might be afraid to write another too.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...