The 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is this Sunday, July 11th. There are numerous events happening all over the country commemorating the occasion, and many will continue throughout the summer.
Harper Lee has remained characteristically reclusive in the midst of all the celebrations. After several years of living in New York, she only recently moved back to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. While she has been invited to the festivities in her hometown this weekend, she is not expected to attend.
Her remarkable novel was voted by librarians as the “greatest novel of the twentieth century”. It won the Pulizter Prize in 1961, and served as the basis for an equally impressive movie of the same name in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. After turning down the opportunity to write the screenplay for her novel, playwright Horton Foote was hired for the job. Ms. Lee was so impressed with the adaptation for the screen that she later said: “If the integrity of a film adaptation is measured to the degree to which the novelist’s intent is preserved, then Mr. Foote’s screenplay should be studied as a classic”. Even so, she was uncomfortable in the extreme with the sudden fame that her novel brought her.
Below are links to a couple of local bookstores who are putting on their own celebrations, as well as a few links with more information on the book and the anniversary. Enjoy!
A Great Good Place for Books – “Celebrating To Kill a Mockingbird” – July 11th
A Great Good Place for Books is located at 6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611. (510) 339-8210
Bookshop Santa Cruz – Courtroom re-enactments & guest speakers – July 20th
Bookshop Santa Cruz is located at 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. (831) 423-0900
More Information on the 50th anniversary:
The Official 50th Anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird website (administered by Harper Collins publishers) – Site features resources for book groups and teachers, as well as a listing of events happening in bookstores around the country.
The Official 50th Anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird Facebook Page – Cooresponding Facebook Page from the official anniversary website.
The National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” – Information and Guides – Features resources for book groups and teachers, as well as nice write-ups of the book’s history.