Growing Up with Scout

I’m having a date with my reserved copy of “Go Set a Watchman,” and meeting Scout as grown up Jean Louise Finch. To get to Barnes & Noble, I took the Broadway 104 bus crowded with irritated passengers. Harper Lee’s writing transports me from 2015 back to 1960’s Maycomb, Alabama. It’s not just that Scout’s grown up, but I have grown up with her. We were about the same age when we first met. Most “Mockingbird” devotees remember when they met Scout and her father Atticus, who will always be gracious Gregory Peck, and where they got scared and or cried in the movie.

I’m curious to meet the new Atticus, a crusty, old segregationist, who by his day’s standards, is hardly considered racist. I wonder about why this book was buried or hidden and it has just now come to light with Harper Lee’s dubious blessing. And about its eerily perfect publication timing, practically on the same day as the Eric Garner case being settled, and after several years of very public police debacles. American-style racism may have changed some since 1960, but not enough. Harper Lee holds up a mirror for society to look at or turn away from, but she is not on a political rant; she is a storyteller who has timelessly mastered her craft. Don’t be afraid to read “Watchman.” The views of her characters are true to their time and place, and Harper Lee is an honest and keen reporter.


About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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2 Responses to Growing Up with Scout

  1. merrieway says:

    Love the correlation of meditating as part of writing… Keep the posts coming.

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