DEAR DAWG: I heard that Harper Lee has written a second novel, entitled Tequila Mockingbird. What can you tell us about it? Good for assigning to students?
Yes, we heard those rumors. The story was that Tequila is a sequel to Lee’s famous first novel. In the sequel, an aging Atticus Finch checks into rehab to address his drinking problem, exacerbated by his frustration at the injustice of the Tom Robinson trial. His daughter, Scout, now an adult, teams up with Boo Radley, who has now become a high school band director, to get the old man back on his feet. Romance develops between Scout and Boo. So it’s sort of a romantic comedy. Look for Reese Witherspoon and Jude Law in the movie.
Actually, none of that is true. It’s just that it’s Friday and we wanted to have a little fun. We look forward to Ms. Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman. The true story of this book is far more interesting than the rumors. She wrote this one first—before Mockingbird. And it does, indeed, tell the story of a grown up Scout returning to her home in the south, and interacting with her father, attorney Atticus Finch. The manuscript of this novel included flashbacks in which Scout recounted stories from her childhood. Ms. Lee’s editor liked the flashbacks more than the novel, so she suggested that Ms. Lee write a second novel from the perspective of the young girl, Scout.
Thank God for that editor. As a result of that suggestion, we have the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The Dawg knows some folks who were inspired to become lawyers as a result of Mockingbird and its portrayal of the heroic Atticus Finch. In fact, one of my law partners, Craig Wood from our firm’s San Antonio office, was honored with the Atticus Finch Award a few years ago.
So let’s all hope that Go Set a Watchman is equally inspiring.
DAWG BONE: ANY BOOK THAT HAS A LAWYER AS THE HERO IS OK WITH THE DAWG.