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This novel won the Pulitzer Prize, and is beloved around the world, and yet its topics of rape and racial inequality have also made it controversial. Did it allow Harper Lee to live up to her desire to be ‘The Jane Austen of South Alabama’? What makes this book so powerful?
To Kill a Mockingbird was a novel that provoked social change. It had a great impact on the American Civil Rights Movement, showing through fiction and the power of readers’ imaginations just what it was like to for a black man to face a court of white jurors when accused of raping a white woman. The American Bar Association erected a monument to Atticus Finch, in gratitude for all he did to improve the public profile of lawyers. The book moved people, changed their minds and helped bring about greater equality in the American South.
Harper Lee was given an incredibly generous Christmas gift of one year of finance that would allow her to quit her job and focus on writing – the result was this amazing book. Join me to look at what drove her to write this controversial classic.