Harper Lee : Go Set a Watchman

CoverIf you haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird, you will still enjoy Go Set A Watchman. Although this is the second book to be released by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Harper Lee, it was written first!

Go Set a Watchman revisits characters I grew to love from To Kill A Mockingbird; twenty years on. The story revolves around Scout (Jean Louise Finch), now twenty six, and her relationships with her father, Atticus Finch, her Aunt Alexandra, Uncle Jack, and her childhood sweetheart, Henry.

Jean Louise must decide whether she can return permanently to Maycomb (a fictional town in Alabama), to marry Henry. If she leaves her life in New York, where integration with African Americans had become almost normal, she must come to terms with the racial undercurrents that run beneath life in her hometown as it attempts to deal with introducing equality in the South.

Harper Lee addresses these issues with a mix of hilarity and deadly seriousness: Jean-Louise’s exchanges with her Aunt Alexandra, a highly corseted Southern Lady, had me laughing out loud. The story also dips back into the childhood exploits of the young Jem and Scout that made Mockingbird so entertaining and memorable.

In addressing racial issues, Lee alludes to incidents in America’s recent history – Rosa Parks’ brave defiance of segregation on public buses in Montgomery, Alabama (December 1, 1955), the idea of black people attending school with ‘white folks” (which was later personalised by Ruby Bridges and others, who passed a test to attend public school in New Orleans in 1960), and the possibilities of inter-racial marriage.

I loved this book. I highly recommend To Kill A Mockingbird also; which deals more deeply with a court case Atticus takes on behalf of a young black man accused of rape, while the children look on, making sense of their world in entertaining ways.

There is a film of To Kill A Mockingbird; perhaps we will see one from this book too?

Podcast – Food in the city with FESTA

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from New Zealand’s only specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

This episode discusses urban food initiatives in Christchurch and issues such as –

  • Environmental and social sustainability of urban food projects
  • What defines ‘foraging’
  • Connections between ecological and political systems and health
  • The growth in urban food practices
  • Food justice
  • Urban food activities during FESTA

The panel for this show includes host Sally Carlton, Peter Langlands from Wild Capture – wild foods and foraging – NZ, Bailey Peryman from Cultivate Christchurch, and Chloe Waretini from Ōtākaro Orchard and Food Resilience Network discussing urban food activities and the overarching concept of food justice.

Transcript of the audio file

Find out more with our resources

Cover of A forager's treasury Cover of Find it, eat it Cover of A field guide to the native edible plants of New Zealand Cover of The permaculture city Cover of Rurbanite Cover of Julia's guide to edible weeds and wild green smoothiesCover of Dandelion hunter Cover of Radical gardening: Politics, idealism & rebellion in the garden

More about Speak up – Kōrerotia

The show is also available on the following platforms:

Photo Hunt October: Poppies in the City

Poppies in the City.
Entry in the Christchurch City Council Annual Plan Photography Competition, 2016/2017 by Tessa Rait. AP16_TERA2.JPG CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

“The photo was taken during the spring time, and I think it represents the city starting to come to life again. The flowers in the foreground are a contrast to the damaged, popular city centre nightspots in the background, but they make it look beautiful and remind us that life goes on.”   Date: 5 October 2015.

Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008.  The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.

Enter the 2016 hunt online or at your local library.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch & Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.