Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, December 30, 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Plus Scout, Atticus and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Mary McDonagh Murphy

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2010 has marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird," and I thought a great way to end the year would be to re-read this classic Southern novel once again.

Being from the South, I have always been familiar with the novel but the first time I experienced this great work of literature in entirety was on a trip to Alabama with my family in 1999.

We had the book on cassette tape and after a whirlwird tour of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia over a two-week period of time, I decided to put the tapes on to pass the time away as we made the long 12-hour trip back to Texas.

Our boys (who were 14, 13, 11 and 7 at the time) had settled down quietly in the back of our van, and my husband and I thought they had gone to sleep. I reached over to turn the tape off midway through the story, and I hear "Hey! Turn that back on, Mom!" come from the back. They weren't asleep at all - they were mesmerized by the story of Scout, Jem, Atticus and Boo Radley! We listened to the tale all across Mississippi, Louisiana and into Texas, and the time just flew by. To this day, my boys remember how much they enjoyed that experience.

One of the best-loved classics of all time, "To Kill a Mockingbird" has earned much distinction 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.

If you have not had the chance to read this American classic, do yourself a favor and take the time to sit and enjoy a visit to the Old South. Harper Lee's words and the lessons of the book ring as true today as they did fifty years ago.

Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Mary McDonagh Murphy

In conjunction with the Fifieth anniversary of "To Kill A Mockingbird," film documentarian Mary McDonagh Murphy interviewed some of the top novelists, historians, journalists, and artists to see how their lives had been impacted by the novel.
In a collection of fascinating interviews, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, Wally Lamb, Adriana Trigiani, Rick Bragg, Lee Smith, Rosanne Cash, and others reflect on when they first read the novel, what it means to them - then and now.
It is heartwarming to see just how many people have been influenced by the sole work of Harper Lee. I particularly was fascinated by the interview with Alice Lee, Harper's older sister who gives probably the most in-depth look at her sister's life. When asked about her sister's reluctance to do interviews, Alice simply says "She just felt like she'd given enough."
"Scout, Atticus and Boo" is a great companion book to go hand in hand with "To Kill A Mockingbird."

1 comment:

Gigi Ann said...

I just read this book for the first time starting December 20-23, 2010. I enjoyed it. I remember seeing the movie years ago, but couldn't remember much about it, except that Gregory Peck starred in the movie.