The Atticus Effect

There hasn’t been this much buzz about a book since the last of the Harry Potter franchise was loosed on the world.

On July 14, 89-year-old Harper Lee will release the sequel to her 1960 masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel that blew up so spectacularly (Pulitzer Prize, iconic movie starring Gregory Peck, an eventual Presidential Medal of Freedom) that its shocked, publicity-shy author, turned off by the pressure, became a virtual recluse, refusing to publish again.

After a mere half-century's absence, Scout is back. Harper Lee releases the book sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird this week -- and Henderson County Library shows the movie to celebrate.

After a mere half-century’s absence, Scout is back. Harper Lee releases the book sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird this week — and Henderson County Library shows the movie to celebrate.

But Lee finally consented to give us Go Set a Watchman, a sequel that was actually an earlier incarnation of Mockingbird, before Lee rewrote the latter book from a child’s point of view. (In Watchman, grown-up protagonist Scout looks back on the events that formed the first tale: her lawyer father, Atticus Finch, defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman; the trial enflames their seemingly sleepy Alabama town.)

To celebrate the book’s release, the Book to Movie Club at Henderson County Library will show To Kill a Mockingbird on July 14 at 2pm in Kaplan Auditorium.

Bold Life’s Marcianne Miller considers the lasting impact of the movie (and the timely nature of the new book) in her review in this month’s issue.

“Despite threats to him and his children, [Atticus] fights the good fight, without any violence,” she writes. “His nine-minute eloquent plea for justice in the courtroom, accomplished in one take, is one of the most memorable speeches in film history. It’s the reason the American Film Institute voted Atticus Finch the greatest hero in American film.”

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