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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee


Overview -

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel--a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.  Read more...


 
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More About To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
 
 
 
Overview

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel--a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice--but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many dis-tinctions since its original publication in 1960. It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. It was also named the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians across the country (Library Journal). HarperCollins is proud to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication with this special hardcover edition.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061743528
  • ISBN-10: 0061743526
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Publish Date: May 2010
  • Page Count: 323
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.75 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Classics
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

A seminal novel turns 50

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is more than a literary classic; it’s a 50-year testament to the ways a well-told story can inspire readers and impact a culture.

Oprah Winfrey has called it America’s “national novel,” and Tom Brokaw remembers the “electrifying effect” it had on the country the year it debuted. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961, and in 1962 a movie adaptation garnered three Academy Awards (having been nominated for eight). Today, this treasured gem has sold more than 30 million copies.

To Kill a Mockingbird was first published in the summer of 1960 when its author, Nelle Harper Lee, was 35 years old. Living in a cold-water flat in New York City’s Yorkville neighborhood, she had been supporting herself with a series of odd jobs, from sales clerk in a bookstore to ticket agent for Eastern Airlines. For years, her ambition had been to become a writer. Her childhood friend Truman Capote (who appears in the book as the character Dill) had done it, but for Lee, any future literary success was contingent upon her ability to carve out time in the evenings after work to write.

Those close to Lee, like best friends Joy and Michael Martin Brown, believed in her though, and on Christmas Day, 1956, they presented Lee with an envelope. Inside was a note reading, “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” Free to devote herself full time to her writing, Lee produced a bestseller.

To honor Lee’s achievement and celebrate the novel’s 50 years of enduring popularity, publisher HarperCollins is organizing events across the country—from readings to live re-enactments—and publishing several new editions of the classic. There’s an elegance to the To Kill a Mockingbird slipcased edition, while the 50th-anniversary hardcover is especially lovely with its vintage reproduction of the original book jacket. Also available is a mass market paperback.

Paying tribute to the novel’s lasting legacy is Mary McDonagh Murphy’s Scout, Atticus & Boo, a collection of 26 interviews with mostly well-known Americans reflecting on how the book has touched their lives. Included are Anna Quindlen, Jon Meacham, Allan Gurganus, Mary Badham (the actress who played Scout in the movie) and even Lee’s sister, Alice Lee.

Gaining a million more readers every year, To Kill a Mockingbird’s enduring success can be traced both to the novel’s subjects—Scout’s coming-of-age, the trial of Tom Robinson—and to Lee’s storytelling. The book tackles the injustice of racism, takes a stand for what is right, yet thankfully lacks any tone of self-righteousness or high-minded piety. Lee’s characters are wonderfully crafted, so vivid and alive. Her prose is beautifully languid, her descriptions sharp-eyed and her humor smart.

Harper Lee accomplished something great with To Kill a Mockingbird, and with every passing decade, another generation of readers is wholly, and completely, captivated by its magic.

 
BAM Customer Reviews