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Margot Metroland

Y’all Can Kill That Mockingbird Now

One of these days Harper Lee is going to kick off and have a great big posthumous laugh at our expense. Bwah-hah-hah! Because right there in her Last Notes and Testament, we will find an answer to that puzzlement that has troubled the publishing biz for a half-century or more. Namely, why didn’t Harper Lee write any more novels after To Kill a Mockingbird? And the main reason she didn’t, she will aver in words that are coarse and pithy, is that To Kill a Mockingbird was a phoney-baloney contrived piece of fluff. It wasn’t her novel anymore, not after her agent and editors got …

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Cashing in on Emmett Till

Emmett Till was killed more than sixty years ago, but he’s a hotter property than ever. Scarcely a year goes by without yet another book or documentary recounting the tale of the hefty black youth from Chicago who got beaten and shot in Mississippi in 1955, for the mild transgression of “whistling at”—and physically molesting—a young white woman in a country store. According to Variety and the New York Times, there are now two feature films in the works, one of them produced by Whoopi Goldberg. We can also look forward to a six-part HBO series on the Till story, brought to us by the eminent Jay-Z …

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