Scout, Atticus, and Boo
A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird
By Mary McDonagh Murphy
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061924071, 240pp.)
Publication Date: June 2010
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To Kill a Mockingbird may well be our national novel. It is the first adult novel that many of us remember reading, one book that millions of us have in common. It sells nearly a million copies a year, more than any other twentieth-century American classic. Harper Lee's first and only novel, published in July 1960, is a beloved classic and touchstone in American literary and social history.
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, Mary McDonagh Murphy reviews its history and examines how the novel has left its mark on a broad range of novelists, historians, journalists, and artists.
In compelling interviews, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, James McBride, Scott Turow, Wally Lamb, Andrew Young, Richard Russo, Adriana Trigiani, Rick Bragg, Jon Meacham, Allan Gurganus, Diane McWhorter, Lee Smith, Rosanne Cash, and others reflect on when they first read the novel, what it means to themthen and nowand how it has affected their lives and careers. Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a lively appreciation of the many ways in which the novel has madeand continues to makea difference to generations of readers.
Harper Lee has not given an interview since 1964, but Murphy's reporting, research, and rare interviews with the author's sister and friends stitch together a brief history of how the novel, as well as the acclaimed 1962 movie, came to be.
Mary McDonagh Murphy is an Emmy Award-winning producer and an independent documentary director. This book is based on her interviews for the film Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, released theatrically and broadcast on PBSs American Masters. She has written for Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Post, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Scarborough, New York, with her husband, Bob Minzesheimer, and their two children.
To Kill A Mockingbird remains a publishing phenomenon even 50 years on and still sells nearly 1 million copies every year. In Scout, Atticus And Boo, Mary McDonagh Murphy gathers essays by fans of Harper Lee's book that reflect on its enduring meaning. More at NPR.org
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“You come away from Murphy’s book with a renewed amazement at what Lee was able to achieve with a single perfect novel.”
“And that’s really what reading this book is like: attending a big book club meeting with 26 lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird.”
-Los Angeles Times