To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
(Grand Central Publishing, Mass Market Paperback, 9780446310789, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
Nelle Harper Lee is known for her Putltzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only major work. In 1999, it was voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a poll by Library Journal. Ms. Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature in 2007. Her father was a lawyer who served in the Alabama state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate, Truman Capote. After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to assist him in researching his bestselling book, In Cold Blood. Since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee has granted very few requests for interviews or public appearances and has published no other novels.
In her weekly commentary, host Michel Martin commemorates the 50th anniversary of the literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird by reflecting on her read of the novel as a child. More at NPR.org
On the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, Weekend Edition essayist Diane Roberts pays tribute to a character who is one of her heroes. More at NPR.org
Though Harper Lee has always said her book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and its setting are fictional, that won't stop thousands from visiting her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., for the novel's 50th anniversary. It's welcome attention for a town struggling through the recession. More at NPR.org
To mark the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," host Scott Simon speaks with author James McBride about how the classic American novel influenced his life and writing career. McBride is the author of the memoir "The Color of Water," and the novel "Miracle at St. Anna," which was adapted into a film directed by Spike Lee. More at NPR.org
When it was published in 1960, Harper Lee's modest novel helped Americans think differently about race. Now, 50 years later, To Kill a Mockingbird still resonates in a much-changed America. NPR's Lynn Neary examines the lasting impact of Scout Finch and her father, Atticus -- a lawyer who defends a black man unjustly accused of rape. More at NPR.org
- How do Scout, Jem, and Dill characterize Boo Radley at the beginning of the book? In what way did Boo's past history of violence foreshadow his method of protecting Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell? Does this repetition of aggression make him more or less of a sympathetic character?
"Remarkable triumph . . . Miss Lee writes with a wry compassion that makes her novel soar."
"Marvelous . . . Miss Lee's original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel."
-The New York Times
"A novel of great sweetness, humor, compassion, and of mystery carefully sustained."
"Skilled, unpretentious and tototally ingenuous . . . tough, melodramatic, acute, funny."
-The New Yorker
"Miss Lee wonderfully builds the tranquil atmosphere of her Southern town, and as adroitly causes it to erupt a shocking lava of emotions."
-San Francisco Examiner
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