Mockingbird Passing, Revised Edition with a New Preface

Closeted Traditions and Sexual Curiosities in Harper Lee's Novel

  • Author(s): Blackford, Holly
  • Series:
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2017-04-21
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $34.95 | Buy Now

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, means different things to different people. After all, how often does a single novel earn its author unprecedented acclaim and a Presidential Medal of Freedom but also a spot on a list of “100 best gay and lesbian novels?” Holly Blackford finds the basis of the book’s broad appeal in its ability to embody the mainstream culture of romantics and social reform writers even while tones of the southern gothic and queer literature lurk in its subtext. Blackford uncovers a lively conversation within the book’s pages with a diverse group of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, offering myriad fresh insights into the novel’s lasting appeal. The new Preface focuses on the publication of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, and the ways in which well-known characters contrast their originals and offer new ways of understanding both novels. This skillful exploration of Lee’s companion novel pushes the frontier of Go Set a Watchman’s academic analysis while viewing To Kill a Mockingbird in a new light.

HOLLY BLACKFORD is a professor of English at Rutgers University at Camden. She has published extensively in the fields of American literature and children’s literature. Her most recent book is The Myth of Persephone in Girls’ Fantasy Literature.