July 11th marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and arguably one of the most influential cultural books of its kind in the U.S.
Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? When did you first read it? Did it affect the way you think about race and class in the U.S.? Do you agree that it's an influential and/or important book?
If you read the book but don't live in the U.S., how did the novel influence your opinions about race in the U.S.?
Here's a link to one of the many stories about the novel's anniversary. Have you come across any other interesting stories about the book or the author, Harper Lee?
What other novels have you read that have affected the way you view culture, either your own or others?
This week the Geekers are asked to looked back at our first time with To Kill a Mockingbird (TKMB), I read this book for the first time during the summer between my primary and high school years and my love for this book has not waned – not by an inch.
As a young girl whose reading literature at the time consisted of stuff like The Year in San Fernando, Some Mills & Boons, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and such books, reading TKMB was simply a pleasure.
As a teenager I connected immediately with Scout Finch, In a way I had me my own "Boo" Radley in our neighbourhood and the family dynamics presented in the book was one I knew only too well. Over the years as the analysis of the book and how it relates to today's society and all the other fiction/real world descriptions got branded about by different people who read this book got more and more grandiose – for me I always look at this book as really one of the books that highlighted one of the best summers of my life.
I met characters that even after twenty odd years – I have not forgotten them.
The lesson, concept, plot line is as relevant today as it was when the book was written.
It is one of those book that crosses a whole lot of societies barrier – It connected my entire sixth form from our drama club to our debating outings.
Keeper shelf material - I still have my original hard cover copy filled with notes and autographs from friend of the day.
It went on to film adaptation and coupling the magic of the book with Gregory Peck – It’s a winner of a film…
When I eventually got the book as one of the text for my literature exam I have read the book all of five times already – My teacher at the time had us take it apart and there is so much issue, lessons, value, moral judgement and love wrapped up in this book that really some of us got it and some didn’t but not one of the group of year nine did not love it…
I still remember one thing that the teacher said during one of those early literature lesson “Lee wrote what she knew and she wrote from the heart and that more than anything else makes a truly great story”
I still believe that up to this day. Lee’s work wasn’t the reinvention of the wheel – she used her skill as a writer to write what she knew and she gave it her all and that made TKMB magic.
There really is no excuse not to have read this book – or watch the film. Happy 50th To Kill a Mockingbird.
Here are a few other novels that I have read that have affected the way I view culture, my own or others.
Have you guys read TKMB or any other books that have affected the way you view culture, either your own or others?