Harper Lee and the American South follows the publication of Go Set a Watchman and the controversy surrounding the book. In this pamphlet, Katie Hamilton provides an overview of Lee’s life and literary career, placing Go Set a Watchman and the earlier To Kill a Mockingbird in their cultural, political and literary contexts.
Go Set A Watchman was one the most widely anticipated releases of recent years, and in North America it went on to become the fastest-selling book in HarperCollins’s history, with more than 1.1 million sales in its first week alone. It made headlines around the world due to its unexpectedly controversial treatment of Mockingbird’s hero, the liberal small-town lawyer, Atticus Finch. In Watchman, Atticus, one of the most beloved characters in print, is represented as a segregationist, rather than the ‘white knight’ defender of African American civil rights and justice for all that he is in Mockingbird.
Katie Hamilton is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham where she is researching the representation of pregnancy in the literature of the American South and the race, gender and regional issues this subject invokes.
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