Image from the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Um, it’s September. We’re not sure how that happened. But, none-the-less fall is upon us (almost)! Which also means that school is back in session, so we’re in the mood for a classic. We’re sure you’ve all seen the back to school commercials lately. Anyone else craving a shopping spree for school supplies? No? Just us? Okay.
Most of you are probably very familiar with this book and/or have already read it, but not all of us are/have. So, bear with us as we go through a little Mockingbird 101.
It was published in 1960 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. This book has become one of the leading American classics, receiving numerous awards and continuous notoriety. The story it tells is based on an event that Lee observed in her hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936 when she was just 10 years old. Overall it deals with public attitudes toward race issues in the 1930’s.
Nelle Harper Lee was born in Alabama in 1926, where she grew up. In the late 1940’s she moved to New York city where she developed as a writer. After a failed first draft in 1957 (Go Set a Watchman, since published in 2015) she found success a few years later with To Kill a Mockingbird. Although, she was quite surprised at the book’s fortune.
“I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”
— Harper Lee, 1964
And as you know, the rest is pretty much history. Fame, fortune, controversial sequel, yadda, yadda. It’s rare you find someone nowadays who hasn’t read this one. But if you haven’t it’s probably been on your list for a long time. It’s definitely been on ours. So read with us and finally cross it off your list! You in??
Oh! And don’t forget to share with us on social media using #booklymark 🙂