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Harper Lee’s Second Book and its Publication Bring Controversy

Go Set a Watchman - cover

Imagine having a book you’ve written published for the first time. How surprised would you be if your book became a bestseller, won a Pulitzer Prize, and was even made into a motion picture starring a major actor? Would you publish another book and risk disappointing your audience? Or would you choose to leave your readers wanting more?

That book, of course, is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. When it was released 55 years ago, one critic compared Lee’s skill to that of Mark Twain, and described her as “an artist of rare talent and control. This first novel is an achievement of unusual magnitude” (Canfield).

The recent announcement that Harper Lee’s second book to be published, Go Set a Watchman, would be released today captured the imaginations of Mockingbird’s fans and of the literary world. Watchman, however, is not a new book. In fact, Lee wrote it decades ago, before writing Mockingbird. That Lee waited so many years before publishing Watchman has raised questions about her decision, including controversy about whether she herself made this decision.

The first controversy

Harper Lee, now 88, suffered a stroke in 2007 and lives in an assisted-living facility (Trachtenberg). Her sister, Alice Lee (now deceased), in a 2011 interview, described Harper as “mostly blind and deaf” following her stroke (Berman). Alice Lee, an attorney, who had “long represented her sister and whom friends describe as Ms. Lee’s ‘protector,’ died Nov. 17 [2014].” Less than three months after Alice Lee’s death comes the announcement from HarperCollins Publishers that Go Set a Watchman would be published on July 14, 2015.

Lee has not spoken to anyone except her agent and her attorney about Watchman, its discovery or its publication. Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham insists that Lee is “very much engaged in the process,” although he bases his assessment on reports from Lee’s agent. Lee, Burnham adds, will not give interviews or other publicity when Watchman is released (Berman).

That Lee’s agent and her attorney, who appear to have everything to gain financially from this situation, have been the only ones communicating with the author Harper Leehas prompted an investigation. The Alabama Securities Commission investigated and “concluded that Ms. Lee appeared to understand what was occurring while approving the publication of ‘Go Set a Watchman’” (Stevens).

Despite the Commission’s findings, Lee’s fans have remained skeptical over the circumstances of Watchman’s discovery. These lingering doubts may have motivated Lee’s attorney, Tonja Carter, to publish an explanation in Monday’s Wall Street Journal (Carter).

The second controversy

Although Watchmen includes characters from Mockingbird, such as Scout and Atticus, the novel is set twenty years into the future, into the civil-rights movement. Fans of Mockingbird may be shocked to discover changes in Atticus. He served as Mockingbird’s “moral conscience: kind, wise, honorable, an avatar of integrity” (Kakutani).

In Watchmen, Scout, 26 and known as Jean Louise, has been living in New York City. She visits her hometown, Maycomb, Ala., to discover that Atticus now holds “abhorrent views on race and segregation” (Kakutani). Readers may wonder why Lee wrote this book as “a distressing narrative filled with characters spouting hate speech.” Ultimately, as Mockingbird “suggested that we should have compassion for outsiders like Boo and Tom Robinson,” Watchman “asks us to have understanding for a bigot named Atticus” (Kakutani).

Works Cited

Berman, Russell. “How Harper Lee’s Long-Lost Sequel Was
……..Found.” theatlantic.com. Feb 4, 2015.

Canfield, Francis X., “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Critic, 1960

Carter, Tonja B. “How I found the Harper Lee Manuscript.” Wall
……..Street Journal
, Eastern edition ed. Jul 13 2015. ProQuest.
……..Web. 13 July 2015.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Review: Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’
……..Gives Atticus Finch a Dark Side.” http://nyti.ms/1ULlBZv

Stevens, Laura, and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg. “Business News: No
……..Fraud found Is Discovered in Harper Lee Case.” Wall Street
……..Journal
, Eastern edition ed.Mar 13 2015. ProQuest. Web. 13
……..July 2015.

Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A., and Laura Stevens. “Harper Lee
……..Bombshell: How News of Book Unfolded.” Wall Street
……..Journal
, Eastern edition ed. Feb 07 2015. ProQuest. Web. 13
……..July 2015.


To Dig Deeper, explore the following links, prepared by Sarah Wingo, team leader: Humanities II and also subject librarian for English, literature and theatre:

One of the big issues that has sprung up around GSAW beyond the controversy over its publication is the difference in the character of Atticus Finch and concerns that it may “tarnish” his legacy.

Here is another point from yesterday

You can read the first chapter or listen to Reese Witherspoon read it

NPR piece from yesterday

NPR piece from Feb

NPR piece from 2014 indicating that if Lee is being taken advantage of with this publication it may not be the first time


SarahDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre. Article by Gerald Dierkes, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater. 


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The Highlighter: How to find articles from a well-established newspaper

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You need articles from a newspaper that’s existed for over a century. Are they available in print, in a database or somewhere else? This video shows how to access articles from a well-established newspaper.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

 


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Foto Friday: A Summer Beauty

Lily Pad

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management


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The Curious ‘Cat: When you need a break from studying, what is a good way to refresh your mind?

Curious Cat

 

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “When you need a break from studying, what is a good way to refresh your mind or to relieve stress?”

RS9263_DSC_3570-scrYeji Seak—“I usually catch up on all the delayed text messages that I need to send back to people. Or I try to stretch a little bit and get some food to refresh my memory and just take a 10-to-15 minute break each time—use the bathroom if I need to … When I’m taking a break I don’t really think about what I just learned; I try to calm myself down and relax a little bit and then go back to studying and focus.”

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Wilson Capellan, OSA—“I go to the coffee shop. Just being alone makes my mind refreshed. And then surf the Internet and visit social media—while sipping a cup of coffee.”

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Aliyia N Patterson—“I cook—and run, either or—cooking or running. Sometimes when I’m running and we have a paper due next week I’ll be running and thinking about what I’m doing in the paper. Unless a car jumps out in front of me, then my mind is back on running. It’s happened a couple of times. So I like to cook and run.”

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Anna Fickenscher—“Sometimes I just take a break and watch stupid reality TV … or mindless Internet entertainment … reading different blogs or reading different articles—just kind of get my mind off of school work with something that requires less thought process.”

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Divya Bonagiri—“I’ll watch some comedy movie or comedy film, and I’ll have some refreshment for some time. And then I’ll go back to studies. Or I enjoy doing my hobby. … I get refreshed doing my hobby for some time and then get back to my studies.”

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Mervin Woodlin—“I have a family, so I spend time with them. I usually do most of my studying at home; the only reason I’m here is because I just started a summer program. Most of the time when I’m studying and I want to take a break, I spend time with them.”

 


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The Highlighter: Browse a Magazine or Journal in “Lexis Nexis Academic”

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Sometimes you do not need to find a specific article, but you want to browse the magazine or journal that publishes articles on your topic. This video shows how to peruse a publication in the Lexis Nexis Academic database.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage. Or you can find them on YouTube.


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New Week: Save the Dates, Sharks, Soccer balls & More!

NEW-WEEK2

OK, Monday – Let’s Do This!
If you’re coming to Falvey this summer, here’s all you need to know to get you through the week!


Hours:  June 27 – July 27

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday: Noon – 6:00 pm


Save the Date!

Summer IGR Workshops. Brighid Dwyer, Assistant Director, Diversity Research & Training, Center for Multicultural Affairs, Program on Intergroup Relations, has invited the Villanova University Community to participate in a IGR summer workshop series. There will be 5 weeks (10 sessions) of dialogue about current events, personal identities, and how who we are influences how we see the world and interact within it. The summer workshop series is an educational experience about issues of social justice, preparing faculty and staff to engage dialogues in situations where understandings and listening are needed. The dates of the workshop will be held from June 30–July 30 on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:00—1:00 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library room 205. Because each session will build on the previous one, we ask that you commIt to attend 8 of the 10 sessions. Questions? Contact: Brighid Dwyer.


A star in a prison : a tale of Canada / by Anna May Wilson - See more at: http://blog.library.villanova.edu/digitallibrary/2015/07/02/content-roundup-first-week-july-2015/#sthash.9U4PB1zv.dpuf

A star in a prison : a tale of Canada / by Anna May Wilson – See more at: http://blog.library.villanova.edu/digitallibrary/2015/07/02/content-roundup-first-week-july-2015/#sthash.9U4PB1zv.dpuf

New Digital Library Content

This week we bring a few new issues of the story-paper Comfort and a new religious dime novel to your attention. As well, a rare report on the reorganization of the Indian army from 1920 and a host of newly digitized newspapers from the Joseph McGarrity Collection are available. McGarrity, a noted collector of Irish books and periodicals, had an exceptionally strong set of rare newspaper titles – many of which deal with Ireland and the Irish-American experience, but his collection was not limited to just this focus. This week two non-Irish titles from the collection can be accessed: the rare Philadelphia newspaper the Constitutional diary and Philadelphia evening advertiser and the Newark, New Jersey title the Centinel of freedom spanning 1799-1800. – See more here!

shark

It’s that time of year again – Shark Week!
Dubbed the “Super Bowl of the Ocean.” the ratings bonanza for the Discovery Channel is back! Shark Week reaps over 40 million viewers each year with countless hours of shark-centric programming. If this kind of thing, ahem, floats your boat, then why not peruse Falvey’s own shark programming through this list of great sea yarns in our collection or download  fin-tastic wallpaper for your phone or laptop. Or, if adventure is what you crave, visit the Digital Library’s Dime Novel collection!

FBL-WC-2015-WOMEN-MATCH52-USA-JPN

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

― Frida Kahlo, born on this day in 1907

Congratulations to the United States Women’s National Team for winning the World Cup title!



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Foto Friday: A little Star Spangled History

The 26 star flag was the official flag of the United States of America for eight yearsbeginning with the Statehood of Michigan in 1837 and up until 1845 with the admission of Florida into the union as our 27th state.

The 26 star flag was the official flag of the United States of America for eight years beginning with the Statehood of Michigan in 1837 and up until 1845 with the admission of Florida into the union as our 27th state. The flag hangs on a wall in Connelly Center. The full story appears on an adjacent plaque.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management


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Dig Deeper: The Revolutionary War and American Independence

DECLARATION
 
“… these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

 Not just a list of grievances, the Declaration of Independence is also a checklist for good government. Its approval and adoption by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia (woot woot!) marks the beginning of a new nation, the United States of America.

Bell_Tower_of_Independence_HallIt’s easy to take the ideological stories of the birth of our nation and its heroes for granted as they have been taught to us since elementary school and romanticized in movies and television. But have you, as an adult, visited the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall (where the Declaration and its forebear, the Articles of Confederation,) were debated? Or walked the streets near Declaration House at 7th and Market where Thomas Jefferson wrote the document? Have you ever read or researched with a critical eye, materials that dig deeper into the symbolic, mythical and political realities of the document’s history?

The following links, curated by history liaison librarian, Jutta Seibert, are great scholarly resources for getting beyond the myths and into the historical context of the American Revolution. Why not take some time this July 4th weekend to explore some of Falvey’s many resources written about that time? She’s also included authentic primary materials from the Digital Library, to truly complete your step back into history.


 New Books

Books about the Declaration of Independence

Books about the American Revolution

Books about the history of the U.S. Constitution


 Primary Sources in Digital Collections

Falvey Memorial Library has a strong collection of primary sources about this monumental period in American history. Here are some suggestions from the library’s digital collections. Additional primary sources, available in print or microform only, can be discovered with the help of the library’s online catalog.

American Founding Era
This collection brings together scholarly digital editions of the papers of major figures of the early republic: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dolley Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry.

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922
Follow the War of Independence and the birth of a new nation in contemporary newspapers.

Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1800
Follow the events of the American Revolution from a local perspective.

American Periodicals Series
Read the first magazines published in the American colonies and in the early republic.

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800
Digital copies of over 37,000 books and pamphlets published and sold in the American colonies and the early republic.

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819
Digital copies of over 36,000 books and pamphlets published and sold in the early republic.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926
Digital copies of works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900’s.

American State Papers, 1789-1838
Legislative and executive documents of the first 14 U.S. Congresses.

Interested in the other side of the story? Discover British opinions on events in the American colonies through contemporary newspapers and magazines:

Online References

Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution

Dictionary of American History

American National Biography Online

Encyclopedia of the American Revolution

A Companion to the American Revolution

Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution


imgres

Jutta Seibert

Links and resources prepared by Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History. Introduction by Joanne Quinn.


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The Curious ‘Cat: What would you change? What would you keep?

Curious Cat
This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “If you could change one thing about the Library, what would it be? What about the Library do you hope never changes?

RS9223_Christian LolkChristian Lolk—“I have a background in the humanities, so as many books and sections devoted to the humanities as possible … I’m a new student, but I checked around the Library this past semester, and I noticed there’s not much past the late ‘80s purchased or put on the shelves … I would prefer some newer books and more in the humanities.”

Editor’s Note—Browsing the collection often leads to discoveries of new books, connections among various subjects, or in-depth knowledge of a specific topic. Another strategy for finding new books, though, is to use Falvey’s powerful catalog either to sort your search results by date—

2015 - 07 Jul - catalog results - data descending 

 

 

 

 

—or to use the “Year of Publication” filter to set a date range—

2015 - 07 Jul - catalog results - data range

RS9226_John Costello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Costello—“[change—] more electrical outlets … not change—the calming environment”

RS9228_Mary Jane Mahan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Jane Mahan—“I don’t know what I want to change about the printers, but something. I’m always so relieved when a printing problem is solved … I’m just grateful … I wish there was more lounge lighting for those late-night studies. And something I hope that never changes is the warmth of the café addition. I’m a returning student from 20 years ago, and my jaw dropped when I saw food in the Library. I thought there had been some kind of coup. But it’s made it so nice … it just makes me feel good. It makes me feel relaxed at times when things can be quite stressful.”

RS9231_Simhachalam PanduriSimhachalam Panduri—“I would like to increase the number of study rooms because every time I think of getting a study room it’s always busy. I can’t get any; I need to wait for one or two hours to get a study room.”

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Blessing Mbamalu—“I’m a fourth-floor kind of person, and I realize it’s not going to be that quiet, so I wish it was a little bit more [quiet]. I don’t know how you would be able to enforce it to make it stricter.”

RS9239_Anusha Mathur

 

 

 

 

 


Anusha Mathur
—“One thing I would like to change about the Library is more seating space. In the fall or spring [semesters] whenever I enter at 4:00 p.m. and the Library is extremely busy, I don’t find space to sit. Maybe that is one thing which can be done.”


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The Highlighter: Falvey’s Tips & Guides connect you with the research-paper help you need

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Just one page on Falvey’s site helps you learn whether a library resource is scholarly or popular, primary or secondary. That one page also shows you where to find help citing sources, help with your research, or help with your writing.

Discover that one page: Falvey’s Tips & Guides

(Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


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Last Modified: June 30, 2015