by Harper Lee
Category: Fiction / General
Publication date: 5 October 1989
Number of pages: 320
Prizes: Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 21 2003.
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.' Lawyer Atticus Finch gives this 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 exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to 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 of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much...A benchmark of classic American literature, To Kill A Mockingbird approaches the highly sensitive topic of racism in 1930s America with humour, warmth and compassion, making it widely recognised as one of the best books of the twentieth century and in American literature.
What the papers say:
"Someone rare has written this very fine novel, a writer with the liveliest sense of life and the warmest, most authentic humour. A touching book; and so funny, so likeable" Truman Capote 20031022 "There is humour as well as tragedy in this book, besides its faint note of hope for human nature; and it is delightfully written in the now familiar Southern tradition" Sunday Times 20031022 "Her book is lifted...into the rare company of those that linger in the memory..." Bookman 20031022 "No one ever forgets this book" Independent
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, a village that is still her home. She attended local schools and the University of Alabama. Before she started writing, she lived in New York and worked in the reservations department of an international airline. She has been awarded the Pulitzer prize, two honorary degrees and various other literary and library awards. Her chief interests apart from writing are nineteenth-century literature and eighteenth-century music, travelling, and watching politicians and cats. To Kill A Mockingbird is her only novel.
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