By Errin Whack, published by NPR, 16 July 2015
I don’t remember how old I was when I read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time. But I do know that I loved it — which is why I was thrilled in February at the news that another manuscript penned by Harper Lee, previously unknown to the larger public, existed and would be published this summer.
For lovers of the original story, the next few months could not pass quickly enough. But that anticipation turned to anxiety last week as reports trickled out that Go Set a Watchman reunites them with an Atticus Finch who is not the idealistic Southern gentleman of their youth, but rather a segregationist once involved with the Ku Klux Klan.
For many, this revelation has been nothing short of a betrayal (as seen in these recent tweets):
Atticus Finch is a racist in Harper Lee’s recently released novel. Currently questioning my entire existence.I still utterly refuse to accept that Atticus Finch is a racist. Nooope.How can you even make Atticus Finch a racist after To Kill A Mockingbird…. Thinking I don’t wanna read this sequel at all.