I’ve only read one book by Harper Lee, but it was a good one. To Kill a Mockingbird is part of the canon in the United States. If you went to school here you probably have read it too.
Most people writing about Lee today will mention how important the book was for Civil Rights. I agree with all that, but the character I always related to was Boo Radley.
My grandmother raised me till I was about ten years old. She was kind of a crazy shut in, so I was kind of a crazy shut in. For years I didn’t have any real friends except my cousin (who I saw every other weekend). I hung out in a big old rural house by myself, with a lot of books and some pretty great Star Wars toys, but it was very lonely.
This isolation caused me to develop a vivid imagination, which serves me well as a writer. I never have trouble coming up with ideas. Though I do still have anxiety about going out in the world and I hate loud and crowded spaces.
Boo Radley basically saves the day by leaving his self imposed exile to help people, but he is fortunate enough to remain anonymous after the deed. I imagine in today’s world TMZ would be posted up outside his house while bloggers wrote articles about the horrible crimes of his youth.
Anyway, I’ve made this post more about myself than Harper Lee. I guess that’s the norm for blogging.
Here’s to you Harper Lee. You wrote a great book and it will bring people joy and make them think for a long time.