Old Monroe County Courthouse - To Kill A Mockingbird

On April 26, the AP sent out a release that Penguin Books had purchased what will be published as ‘The Mockingbird Next Door’ a book in which the author, a former Chicago Tribune writer, Marja Mills, moved in next door to Nelle and Alice in Monroeville and got all kinds of access (this was before Nelle moved into an assisted living facility).

And then, there was this, that Nelle released through Alice’s law firm (I read somewhere that Alice, 99, is the oldest practicing female lawyer in Alabama):
“Contrary to recent news reports, I have not willingly participated in any book written or to be written by Marja Mills. Neither have I authorized such a book. Any claims otherwise are false.”

So there!


Penguin then released a letter they had from Alice dated March 20th saying that the author had the blessing of both her and Nelle.

Here we go…

The Chicago Tribune says that when they call Alice’s law firm in Monroeville to see what’s what now, they get hung up on.

Good gracious, yes, people wonder why Nelle never wrote another book — after all, she at one time said that she wanted to be the ‘Jane Austen of South Alabama’.  People say that she’s been reclusive all these years but she’s had a beautiful life full of her friends, her church, she’s spent years before the stroke with half the seasons in NYC and half here at home in Monroeville…

I think she just doesn’t like to be fussed over.  And I really find it so, so, so hard to believe that an author would rent the house next door to her and Alice, and Nelle say “well great” and bring her along to David’s Catfish on Hwy 84 and so on and so forth.  And this whole business with the two of them being okay with this new book and now not is just making them look either dingy or the author looking like a jerk.

And thank you, Mobile P-R, for running Scotty Kirkland’s piece, “Leave Her Alone…”.

A signed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird sold for $25k earlier this month.  There’s a new TKAM documentary out now too.

And…TKAM is no longer on the top ten list of ‘Most Challenged Books‘ among American libraries.  Neither is ‘Color Purple’ or ‘Catcher in the Rye’ but ‘Brave New World’ is, as is ‘Twilight’.  ‘Twilight’…really?

The American Folk Art Museum has problems.  The executive director, Maria Ann Conelli, announced that she is leaving in July to return to academia.  A former board president has been charged with (unrelated) fraud last year.  The museum is in default on $32 million in bonds.  It has announced that it will no longer run and manage the annual American Antiques Show.  And the show (that had so many Alabama artists) at the Venice Biennale this summer that AFAM had been working on with Benetton has been canceled — Benetton backed out.  Today the NYT reported that it is purchasing the AFAM building.

The Warner-Westervelt Museum in Tuscaloosa has been selling off a lot of nice, nice, nice pieces.  Their website isn’t working.  And there’s this, plus they’ve suspended docent training and school tours.  Many pieces will be sold at Christie’s May 18th ‘Important American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture‘ auction.

The cast recording of Book of Mormon is available here at NPR.  *Yes!*

Now for the truly insignificant teensy bit: I have a closet full of J. Jill but I really want Magnolia Pearl’s entire Spring 2011 line.

If you know Obsolete and you know Restoration Hardware or you just like to think about who-owns-what in the realm of ideas and designs (yours or someone else’s), there’s this in the LA Times.

NPR has this fantastic piece about Brother Claude Ely who, among a million other things, wrote ‘Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down’, one of the last songs Johnny Cash recorded.

Another ‘wow‘ tornado pic.

The online Encyclopedia of Louisiana is in beta and is beautiful.

Leave a Reply