The Language of the South

by Lisa Donovan

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Today is the birthday of Harper Lee - the woman who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. I think it is always important to celebrate the life of our writers and to pay tribute whenever we get a chance. Though Harper Lee only completed this one book, I feel like her contributions to our culture (also notably through her work with Truman Capote) is innumerably measured. As a woman writing and living in (and becoming more comfortable admitting that I am, indeed, from) the south, her childhood in Alabama is a source of great inspiration. Southern writers have, indeed, always penetrated the basest sense of our humanity. They have, also (and very similarly to Spanish/Mexican writers), wrapped our southern heritage in a lovely robe of mysticism and romanticism that I think is not found in other American literature. I first discovered this, and that I loved southern writing, at the age of fourteen when I read To Kill a Mockingbird.

So, I think today, in memory of Ms. Harper Lee and in homage to her birthday, I’ll pick it back up and refresh my memory about what a simply fantastic story is told.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006 at 9:01 am and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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