Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Who said - “All I want to be is the Jane Austen of south Alabama.”?
Harper Lee said this half-jokingly after To Kill a Mockingbird was published.
2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Usually a requirement of high school English classes, I didn’t read the book until my son was assigned it in his sophomore year. To this day it is one of my favorites - (unlike Catcher In the Rye - after 2 chapters I told my son he was on his own)
Here are some interesting facts from the Smithsonian’s great article by Charles Leerhsen called Novel Achievement.
In a survey asking what one book every civilized person should read, Mockingbird finishes second to the Bible.
In 2007 she accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Truman Capote as a boy spent summers at his cousin’s house next to Lee’s. (and resembles the character Dill in the book)
In 1957 she flung the unfinished manuscript out the window of her NYC apartment but after calling the editor who had previously encouraged her, than ran down the steps to retrieve the pages, and then began the revisions.
The result? The Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
So I’ll forgive the fact she roots for the Mets.