Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mockingbird Songs

Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee by Wayne Flynt
HarperCollins: 5/2/17
eBook review copy; 240 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062660084

Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee by Wayne Flynt is recommended for the future historical significance of his correspondence with the notoriously private Nelle Harper Lee.
This is a collection of letters Lee and Flynt sent to each other over the years, from 1992 to Lee's death in 2016. The letters show a side of Lee that few seldom saw and could be a valuable resource for future biographers.

Flynt opens up the organized sections of letters with comments about the letters that follow. There is a variety of subjects discussed and as you are reading them you can see the friendship between the two growing and maturing. The letters begin more formal and eventually become personal and intimate. There are a few feisty observations and comments from Lee that will be appreciated, along with her sense of humor and phrasing as the letter begin to exhibit more of her personality. It should be noted that Lee's attorney approved the publication of the letters.

The value of this collection is the insight it provides into Lee's life during her correspondence with Flynt. It does beg the question, though, how she would have felt about the publication of their personal correspondence. She was a very private person. One rarely writes to friends and expects that exchange to be published in the future. However there is a long history of letters of famous people being collected and published.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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