From Publishers Weekly
Murphy—an Emmy-winning writer, director, and producer—celebrates Harper Lee's only novel with a documentary, Hey, Boo,
and this book, a collection of mostly venerating interviews with writers and celebrities, black and white, from Oprah Winfrey to Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, and Richard Russo. A few incisive remarks emerge. James McBride, for example, takes issue with calling Harper Lee brave—doing so absolve[s] yourself of your own racism. Wally Lamb and Allan Gurganus, among others, reveal Lee's influence on their writing. Unfortunately, in Part I, Murphy summarizes the most interesting of her subjects' comments, creating a sense of déjà-vu when the reader gets to the actual interviews. Racism, smalltown America, Lee's 50-year silence since the book's publication, her relationship with Truman Capote, and the appeal of the book's principal characters are touched on by most of the interviewees; such shared themes and opinions result in redundancy. Readers should turn (or return) to To Kill a Mockingbird
before bothering to dip into this disappointing collection. 11 b&w photos. (June)
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“You come away from Murphy’s book with a renewed amazement at what Lee was able to achieve with a single perfect novel.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“And that’s really what reading this book is like: attending a big book club meeting with 26 lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird
.” (Los Angeles Times)