How Harper Lee Saved Me

Mark over at Exile on Pain Street just got Freshly Pressed for his post about how Harper Lee saved him. Did you know he received a letter from her? Oh, what a thrill! Congrats, Mark! Excellent post.

Exile on Pain Street

Several people have pinged me about the announcement of Harper Lee’s new novel. It’s based on a recently-discovered manuscript that she wrote in mid-50’s and takes place 20 years after To Kill A Mockingbird.

I think just about everyone has already read and commented on this post but I thought I’d rerun it. It’s the reason why people are reaching out to me with this wonderful news. It explains who I am and why I’m typing these words right now. I’d be a hot mess if it weren’t for her.


Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s the single most important book in my life.

I didn’t read a book until I was 20 years old. It’s true! They attempted to force-feed me while attending my below-average schools, but I made it clear that I would only read a book under protest…

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Juxtapose Your Day

This post makes me want to see art! Should I then be so lucky to go for a walk in snowy Central Park. Go read this and then FOLLOW him. Mark’s posts are always a treat – authentic and insightful!

Exile on Pain Street

Juxtaposition is when two contrasting items are placed in close proximity to one another for heightened effect. In concert, a band will play a raucous song followed by a quiet one. Springsteen does it a lot. It’s Beethoven’s favorite device. His music is ether bombastic or delicate. Movies, literature, art—it’s everywhere. Juxtaposition is used to tweak your perceptions.


After the humiliation of watching a derelict violently berate two young girls and not lifting a finger to help them, the rest of my day unfolded in a narcotic euphoria. It was like watching a sped-up film of a flower opening.

I unpacked the guilt I was carrying for calling in sick (when I wasn’t), and the guilt for not helping those girls and left it on the marble staircase of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Forgiveness is a snap under the right conditions. I came out of the subway at 86th Street and…

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