Innocence Lost…. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This weekend two of my favorite writers passed away on the same day: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco. I am not a big fan of them, in the sense that I only had read one book of each: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Name of the Rose. But somehow they had inspired me back then. Their works had given me many a good time. Yes, those books command multiple rereads.

The Name of the Mockingbird Is Rose! (Well, this ain’t a mockingbird, but it’s OK)

I’m going to talk about Lee’s book first. I’ve read the title since years ago when I was working at the book store, but I was not interested in reading it at all. But that changed years later when I found it as a heavily discounted book at Periplus.

Thought, Who is Harper Lee? Why would someone want to kill a mockingbird? Oh I remember the title! It was cheap (when I opened the plastic I found out a gigantic water stain in the last pages lol), so I gave it a try.

Then I found myself sleepless for 2 days in a row, getting totally hooked and by the writing. And when I finished the last page, I returned to the very first page right away! Very few books co

It is about a small town lawyer with his witty son and wittier daughter (who narrates the book) and their servant Calpurnia. I really wanted to meet Cal and taste her cooking! Even I wanted to meet Miss Eula May! 

The book addresses discrimination and poverty. I had watched movies about white and colored people segregation, they served as a background when reading the novel. It was good for the family that they loved colored people no matter what, even defended Tom when he was accused of raping a white woman. That’s how the book addresses “pembunuhan karakter” (what is that in English? “Character assassination”? It is what is happening in Indonesia too).

Since it is the 6 year old Scout who narrates the story, it is easy to understand given my limited English. To Kill a Mockingbird is a special book. Highly entertaining too. “A must read.”

Two very different writers, one Italian and one American. Yet strangely I never wanted to know about their private lives. Perhaps that’s just how it is like: just celebrate their works and leave the authors alone.

After hearing the sad news, I began to search for their books just to read them again, especially the favorite chapters. But found none. Where are they? I tried to locate them. Then I remembered that I had donated the books not long ago. As the books had done me good, I hope that those books do others wonders!

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