Prominent Nacogdoches writer speaks of late Harper Lee's influence

Prominent Nacogdoches writer speaks of late Harper Lee's influence
Source: Raycom
Source: Raycom
Source: Raycom
Source: Raycom

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Harper Lee will leave an everlasting impression on Americans. One of them is a diverse Nacogdoches storyteller with successful works from novels to screenplays. He explained why Lee will never be forgotten.

With comic books, screen plays, novels, and movies, Joe Lansdale's artistic portfolio is impressive.

"I've always wanted to do it. I can't remember not wanting to do it," said Joe R. Lansdale, a Nacogdoches Writer.

He recalled seeing Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the first time.

"It really struck a chord and influenced me, but when I read the novel, more-so," Lansdale said.

The American classic touched all of those who flipped its pages from grade school-aged children to adults.

"Style is important to me, but think it was the kind of style that was innocent because it was told by a young girl, Scout," Lansdale said.

Lansdale said the novel written by the Monroeville, Alabama native painted pictures of harsh truths of the South.

"It was like the conscience of the South. I grew up in the South in a time when it wasn't racially integrated. In fact, it wasn't at all," Lansdale said.

It was told through the eyes of Scout.

"That's the little girl if she were a child, you'd like to have living next door to you!" Lansdale said.

The masterpiece raised questions.

"It raised all the universal question that a child asks. Why are those people treated differently? Why is this this way? Why is this that way?" Lansdale said.

Lansdale's movies are playing on television as we speak, his novels are selling off the shelves, but he admires Lee's artistic qualities.

"I think she helps us look back and see what we don't want anymore, too," Lansdale said.

Lansdale wishes he could have met the woman who so boldly and classically addressed the racial inequalities of the South.

"I would say thank you for being the conscience of the South, because we damn sure needed it back then!" Lansdale said.

Lansdale said his work most influenced by Lee was suspense novel, "The Bottoms."

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