| Jul 08, 2010
Thirty-three years after writing To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee, who hadn't been heard from for decades, wrote to her agent, "I am still alive, although very quiet." Today, Lee is still with us and still very quiet, deep in south Alabama. But in the rest of America, it's about to get a whole lot noisier.
This Sunday, July 11, will be the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mockingbird, the endearing and enduring story of racism and redemption and growing up in a small Southern town during the Depression. It is Lee's only book and one of the handful that could earn the title of Great American Novel. "It's our national novel," proclaims Oprah Winfrey.
"It changed how people think," said former first lady and lifetime book lover Laura Bush at a national book festival in 2003.
"Best Novel of the Century," according to a poll of librarians by Library Journal in 1999.
"The one book that millions of us have in common," says Mary McDonagh Murphy, author of a new book of interviews of famous folk talking about how Mockingbird changed them, and changed the country. Read more about the celebrated novel in USA Today online.