To Kill a Mockingbird is the first novel written Harper Lee of Monroeville, Alabama. Its primary themes are racial and class prejudice. The story is told by young Scout Finch, who lives with her father Atticus, a lawyer, and her older brother Jem in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.
The people in Maycomb are dealing with some serious social issues. A young black man has been accused of raping a white girl. Still taboo today, it was an act considered especially egregious in the Deep South of the 1930s. As the children of Atticus Finch, who is appointed to defend the accused, Scout and Jem observe and experience much of the fallout of the man’s trial. They learn that sometimes people aren’t always what they seem. They also learn that sometimes people are exactly who they seem to be. Perhaps most importantly, they learn that heroes can come in the most unexpected forms.
More than 50 years after its original publication, To Kill a Mockingbird continues to be embraced as a piece of classic literature, and it is still regularly read in schools throughout the United States.
“Mockingbird still says what it has to say; it has managed to survive the years without preamble.” - Harper Lee, from the Foreword of the 35th Anniversary Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird.Learn More
Go Set a Watchman is the wonderful new novel from one of America's bestselling authors, Harper Lee, who is known so well for her classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Watchman explores the tensions between a local culture and a changing national political agenda through the eyes of a character we know so well, Scout Finch, who is all grown up and has returned to the small town of Maycomb, Alabama to visit her family and reconcile her past.
For more information about this new book from Harper Lee, check out "Digging Deeper into Go Set a Watchman."
Excerpt from our blog:
...While many have referred to Go Set a Watchman as To Kill a Mockingbird’s sequel, it was actually written well before the story we know and love. It was on the advice of her publisher that Harper Lee changed the narrative to that of a child telling the story of Tom Robinson as it unfolded in Maycomb County, Alabama... (Read More)
An audio-CD version of the new book by Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, narrated by Reese Witherspoon. Make sure to get your copy from our local book shoppe in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee's hometown. No matter how busy your day, you can enjoy the second novel from Lee, as you listen on the go to the most anticipated book of the year. Watchman is Harper Lee's unforeseen second novel, which explores the tensions that arise from the dynamics of loyalties that are so common in small towns and an ever-evolving national agenda. These themes are woven into the tapestry of Watchman as it focuses on the characters of Atticus Finch, and his children and their relationships with one another and the town they call home years after Mockingbird's fateful summer.
What exactly does Go Set a Watchman have in store for readers? Catch up on the latest with articles from our blog:
...Throughout the book, Scout must deal with many personal and political issues as she speaks with her father and tries to understand how he views society. She also struggles with finding out how she feels about the place she was born and where she grew up. (Read More)Learn More
Monroeville: Literary Capital of Alabama is a wonderful photographic journey from the town's humble beginnings as a crossroad to an internationally known launch pad for some of the most notable names in the world of literature. Kathy McCoy has painstakingly documented the changing face of Monroe County and has added an additional layer of depth with the release of this visual companion. Monroeville is divided into chapters that include the diversions, politics, and--of course--two of its most well known inhabitants. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief history lesson that is both informative and intriguing. McCoy covers the meager beginnings of the town's beloved square and the courthouse that has been immortalized in the screen adaption of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. No book covering the town of Monroeville would be complete without a portion devoted to Harper Lee's novel. Included are several pages immortalizing the courthouse, the annual run of the play, and Harper Lee herself. McCoy includes plenty of information on Lee's childhood friend and fellow author,Truman Capote, as well. Monroeville is a welcome addition to any Mockingbird fan's library and gives a stunning look into the town that boasts a plethora of artists, authors, peacemakers, and politicians.Learn More
Author Kathy McCoy has a special place in her heart for Monroe County, Alabama. Crossroads is one of three works devoted to this historically rich area. McCoy begins with the earliest native inhabitants then moves all the way to the Reformation and Restoration of the south. The book is broken into seven chapters, each with a different historical period as the main focus. Crossroads also includes period letters, pictorials, and news articles that add depth and dimension to its historic story. McCoy herself stated that Crossroads would make an excellent companion for students taking Alabama history, but it is an enjoyable standalone account of a county older than the State itself. It is a quick and excellent read for those interested in the background of the area that has produced some of the most notable authors in modern history.Learn More
Truman Capote’s first novel is a story of almost supernatural intensity and inventiveness, an audacious foray into the mind of a sensitive boy as he seeks out the grown-up enigmas of love and death in the ghostly landscape of the deep South.
At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the decaying mansion in Skully’s Landing, his father is nowhere in sight. What he finds instead is a sullen stepmother who delights in killing birds; an uncle with the face—and heart—of a debauched child; and a fearsome little girl named Idabel who may offer him the closest thing he has ever known to love.Learn More
Ranging from gothic South to the chic East Coast, from rural children to aging urban sophisticates, all the unforgettable places and people of Capote’s oeuvre are here, in stories as elegant as they are heartfelt, as haunting as they are compassionate. Reading them reminds us of the miraculous gifts of a beloved American original.Learn More
The private letters of Truman Capote, lovingly assembled here for the first time by acclaimed Capote biographer Gerald Clarke, provide an intimate, unvarnished portrait of one of the twentieth century's most colorful and fascinating literary figures.
Capote was an inveterate letter writer. He wrote letters as he spoke: emphatically, spontaneously, and passionately. Spanning more than four decades, his letters are the closest thing we have to a Capote autobiography, showing us the uncannily self-possessed naif who jumped headlong into the post-World War II New York literary scene; the more mature Capote of the 1950s; the Capote of the early 1960s, immersed in the research and writing of In Cold Blood; and Capote later in life, as things seem to be unraveling. With cameos by a veritable who's who of twentieth-century glitterati, Too Brief a Treat shines a spotlight on the life and times of an incomparable American writer.Learn More
Together in one volume, here are a pair of literary touchstones from Truman Capote's extraordinary early career: the transcendentally popular novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Other Voices, Other Rooms, the debut novel he published as a twenty-three-year-old prodigy.
Of all his characters, Capote once said, Holly Golightly was his favorite. The hillbilly-turned-Manhattanite at the center of Breakfast at Tiffany’s shares not only the author’s philosophy of freedom but also his fears and anxieties. For Holly, the cure is to jump into a taxi and head for Tiffany’s; nothing bad could happen, she believes, amid “that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets.”
Other Voices, Other Rooms begins as thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to rural Alabama to live with his estranged father—who is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his eccentric family and finds a kindred spirit in a defiant little girl. Despite its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence, this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel revels in small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place.Learn More
In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut householder with a ruinous obsession for a twelve-year-old he has never met. And we meet Capote himself, who, whether he is smoking with his cleaning lady or trading sexual gossip with Marilyn Monroe, remains of the most elegant, malicious, yet compassionate writers to train his eye on the social fauna of his time.Learn More