Harper Lee

Why MRAs Love ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Jeff Sharlet on Covering the Men’s Rights Movement

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When men’s rights activists (or MRAs, as they are known online) held their first conference in Detroit last summer, it was an opportunity for the mainstream media to examine why a group of disenfranchised men are blaming their problems on feminism and not, as writer Jeff Sharlet puts it, “late-stage American capitalism.” Sharlet wrote about the conference in a March 2015 GQ article titled, “Are You Man Enough For the Men’s Rights Movement?” It’s the latest in a series of articles coming out of the event, from Mariah Blake’s Mother Jones profile of Warren Farrell to BuzzFeed’s look at Paul Elam, the leader of the movement’s most popular website.
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Is It Time to Get Hopeful About Harper Lee?

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Now that the Harper Lee exploitation story is fizzling out for the second time, let’s take a moment to remember that the author has always reserved as much ire for journalists as for any other type of carpetbagger. Since the revelation that Lee’s attorney, Tonja Carter, found a manuscript of the unpublished novel Go Set a Watchman — a novel we already knew existed at some point — members of the press, spurred by their own perfunctory reporting, have presumed that the whole thing was an elder-abuse scam meant to earn agent, attorney, publisher — just someone, really — millions of dollars.
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Harper Lee’s New Book: The Case for Optimism

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Is the publication of Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird a multimillion-dollar scam? The publishing swindle of the century? At this point, if there really is a machine designed to extract large sums of wealth from Harper Lee, it must possess an array of moving parts. Publisher, editor, agent, attorney: all of these have spoken out to confirm Lee’s willingness (and awareness), and so all must be complicit if the publication of Go Set a Watchman turns out to be an act of exploitation. So is it possible? I suppose. But at this point, I’m cautiously optimistic that Lee wants this book to be published. Here’s …Read More

Here’s What We Know About Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’

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News this morning that Harper Lee will publish Go Set a Watchman, a sequel (of sorts) to her beloved 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, was met with thoroughgoing cheer and goodwill. It is certainly an unexpected development: it was long thought that the 88-year-old Lee would never produce another book, much less a continuation (of sorts) of the original story. Here is what we know about Go Set a Watchman so far:
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30 Best Pop Culture Spinsters

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The word “spinster” refers to an unmarried woman, and is most often synonymous with the stereotype of the past-her-prime old maid, a woman who hasn’t made a good match and who’s doomed to live an unfulfilling life. Well, that’s just stereotypes talking, because… hey, what’s wrong with that, exactly? The answer is absolutely nothing. Pop culture has given us some pretty great spinsters (although on average they do fall within a specific, homogenous, moneyed, and white demographic). So here are our 30 favorite writers, artists, and fictional characters who show the freedom that comes from living an unmarried life — female characters who are defined by their wants and desires, and not characterized through the simple scrim of their relationships.
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50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters

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With not one, but two novels featuring Jane Austen, one featuring the ghost of Dorothy Parker, and a third about Virginia Woolf and her sister hitting shelves soon, it seemed like a good time to survey the entire “writer-as-character” category of novels. Who are the most popular fictionalized writers? It’s no surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Dickenses, and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a graphic-novel Susan Sontag? Cranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading …Read More

50 of the Greatest Debut Novels Since 1950

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For a reader, there’s something magical about picking up a first novel — that promise of discovery, the possibility of finding a new writer whose work you can love for years to come, the likelihood of semi-autobiography for you to mull over. The debut is even more important for the writer — after all, you only get one first impression. Luckily, there are a lot of fantastic first impressions to be had. Click through for some of the greatest first novels written since 1950 — some that sparked great careers, some that are still the writers’ best work, and some that remain free-standing. …Read More