Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Read About A Writer

Monday, I picked up a friend to take her to our surgery center for an epidural injection. When Barbara got into the car, she handed me a book saying, "I think you'll enjoy this book. I like to read about writers and you probably do, too.."

The book is I Am Scout by Charles Shields. I started reading this biography of Harper Lee about 8 o'clock last night. The author of To Kill A Mockingbird has been a reclusive person who shuns the spotlight and always has. Her brilliant first novel has become a classic and required reading for many high school students.

I think it's good for writers to read about other writers, so I would urge you to give the book a try. My thought was that I'd probably scan it and get the general idea since I am reading a good novel right now. Within a very few pages, I was totally hooked on the book. I read a bit more than half of the 212 pages.

This morning, I read a bit more about the author, Charles Shields, and I learned that this book is an adaptation of another that he wrote on the same subject. I Am Scout is geared to young readers, but is definitely for adult readers, as well. In fact, the book was in the Adult section of the library when my friend found it. The original book, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee was nominated for the Quill Award for Biography and also a Literary Guild selection.

The author pieced together Ms. Lee's life through myriad interviews with her teachers, classmates, friends, and acquaintances in her hometown of Monroeville, AL He's captured her family and the town where she was born and raised, pulling the reader into Nelle's world. Harper Lee's first name was Nelle, which she dropped when her book was published. Her closest childhood friend was none other than Truman Capote. They grew up next door to one another with both of them loving words and developing into writers. Their friendship carried through to their adult lives.

I'm looking forward to finishing the book today. If you enjoy biographies, this is one to put on your list of books to read. Read about a writer. They're usually pretty interesting people.

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