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Our “National Novel” Turns 50
To Kill a Mockingbird is turning fifty this summer. Not surprisingly, it’s getting lots of media attention.
One newsletter writer referred to it as “more than a literary classic; it’s a 50-year testament to the ways a well-told story can inspire readers and impact a culture”.
Oprah referred to it our “national novel”. Others have suggested it as a parenting manual, a novel that taught other novelists how to write, the only way to understand racism. Author Anna Quindlen said she can’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t get Scout.
Many events are being organized across the country – readings, live re-enactments, showings of the movie, book discussions. A 50th anniversary hardcover edition will be published by HarperCollins.
The enduring interest in this novel is due to the subject – coming-of-age and the trial – as well as the writing itself. It takes on racism with a stand of what is right without, as one columnist has written, a tone of self-righteousness.
With the 50th anniversary, a new generation of readers may discover this treasure. For those of us who read it many years ago, it’s time to reread it.
To Kill a Mockingbird