To Kill a Mockingbird

Front Cover
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Feb 2, 2016 - Readers - 192 pages
To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American fiction. The novel is loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explained the novel's impact by writing, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism." As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage and compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in English-speaking countries with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms. Often the book is challenged for its use of racial epithets, and writers have noticed that regardless of its popularity since its publication, some readers are displeased by the novel's treatment of black characters. Lee's novel was initially reviewed by at least 30 newspapers and magazines, whose critics varied widely in their assessments. More recently, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die." The book was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. To date, it is Lee's only published novel, and although she continues to respond to the book's impact, she has refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Fluffyblue - LibraryThing

This is a wonderful book - one of those books that will stay with you long after you've finished it. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2016)

Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on April 28, 1926. She studied law at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949, and spent a year as an exchange student in Oxford University, Wellington Square. She moved to New York where she worked as an airlines reservations clerk while pursuing a literary career. In 1959, she accompanied Truman Capote to Holcombe, Kansas, as a research assistant for Capote's novel In Cold Blood. Her first book, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. The book was adapted as a feature film in 1962 and a London stage play in 1987. Her second book, Go Set a Watchman, was published in 2015. She died on February 19, 2016 at the age of 89.

Bibliographic information