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Mockingbird Songs My Friendship with Harper Lee by Wayne Flynt
  

Mockingbird Songs My Friendship with Harper Lee

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Beautifully written, intelligent and telling, this remarkable compendium of letters - a correspondence that lasted for a quarter century, from 1992 until Harper Lee's death in February 2016 - offers an incisive and compelling look into the mind, heart and work of one of the most beloved authors in modern literary history.

Synopsis

Mockingbird Songs My Friendship with Harper Lee by Wayne Flynt

The violent racism of the American South drove Wayne Flynt away from his home state of Alabama, but the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's classic novel about courage, community and equality, inspired him to return in the early 1960s and craft a career documenting and teaching Alabama history. His writing resonated with many Alabamians, in particular three sisters: Louise, Alice, and Nelle Harper Lee. Beginning with their first meeting in 1983, a mutual respect and affection for the state's history and literature matured into a deep friendship between two families who can trace their roots there back more than five generations. Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee began writing to one other while she was living in New York - heartfelt, insightful and humorous letters in which they swapped stories, information and opinions on topics both personal and professional: their families, books, Alabama history and social values, health concerns, and even their fears and accomplishments. Though their earliest missives began formally - Dear Dr Flynt - as the years passed and their mutual admiration grew, their exchanges became more intimate and emotional, opening with Dear Friend and closing with I love you, Nelle. Through their enduring correspondence, the Lees and the Flynts became completely immersed in each other's lives.

Reviews

This small collection of letters between Harper Lee and her friend witnesses what an estimable person she was ... Flynt's book is a testament to the dead art of letter-writing and the enriching relationships which in the right hands (literally) could in times gone by, be built on it ... This book does something for which one can be profoundly grateful. One at last sees and hears something of this elusive, wonderfully creative woman. * The Times * This little book, then, contains multitudes. It exemplifies the wisdom, and the frank, unguarded honesty, that can crystallise with age. It is an insight into the chemistry and alchemy of friendship, in this case late-developing, but beautiful in its lateness. It is an oblique reflection on the tumultuous Southern history that its correspondents lived through. And it has the desirable effect of introducing readers to a major Southern writer. * Economist * It is a small memoir with a big surprise: a selection of Lee's letters. They show her to be sociable, opinionated, amusing. * Times Literary Supplement * A revealing look at a beloved, mysterious writer. * Mail Online * [M]odest and self-abnegating. * Telegraph *


About the Author

Wayne Flynt is a Distinguished University Professor of History at Auburn University and author or co-author of eleven books. He has been recognised with numerous awards and honours, including the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing, the James F. Sulzby Book Award (twice) and the Alabama Library Association Award for non-fiction (twice).

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2017

Author

Wayne Flynt

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    recommendations

Publisher

William Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback
240 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Diaries, letters & journals
Anthologies (non-poetry)
Autobiography: literary
Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers

ISBN

9781785151316

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