Last night on PBS, they had a special feature on Harper Lee; interviews with other authors, with Harper's sister, discussions about racism and the possible impact of the book, discussions about the characters and how they related to Harper's life. It was very interesting and sometimes emotional for me as this book always strikes a deep chord with me. Seeing scenes from the movie and hearing parts of the book read out loud got me quite choked up. I say it strikes a chord with, but I'm not quite sure why. Life in rural Alabama in the 1930's isn't something I can relate to at all, maybe it's that it has to do with growing up, with family and is just a great emotional story.
It did get me thinking of other similar types of stories, difficult to label, but I'm going to call them 'small town' stories', stories for the most part set in small towns, or close areas and stories involving family life. Once again, I don't necessarily relate my growing up to these scenes as I was a military brat. In a way, living on a military base can be similar to small town living, in that it's a closed, small community. The big difference is that you don't necessarily grow up with the same people as you are always on the move and starting life in a new, small, close community. Maybe that is what strikes a chord with me, the people in these stories grow up with each other, their lives are affected by these people and their families. It's a life I haven't really lived and at times am envious of.
Anyway, this isn't really a top ten list, but the stories below have struck a chord with me and have many similarities. See what you think of these 'Small Town' stories.
There are many other Canadian authors that dealt successfully and powerfully with these small-town lives and stories. To name a couple, there is Margaret Laurence, one of the major figures in Canadian literature. Her books have been successfully translated to the big screen, especially The Stone Angel, starring Ellen Burstyn and A Jest of God, which was translated to a movie under the title Rachel, Rachel starring Joanne Woodward. The other author I wanted to mention was Alice Munro and especially her book of short stories, Lives of Girls and Women, which chronicle the life of Del Jordan as she grows up in the small southern Ontario town of Jubilee.
Well, there you have it, definitely an incomplete list, but a starting point if you're looking for this type of story. Every one is a joy to read and will enhance your reading experience and maybe even your life perspective.