Summer parties celebrate ‘Mockingbird’ 50th anniversary
Sunday 30 May 2010
For the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel
To Kill a Mockingbird, more than 50 events are being planned across the US to honor the beloved novel that sells close to one million copies each year.
In Monroeville, Alabama, home of the author Harper Lee, they will dress in period clothing from the 1930s and read passages. In Santa Cruz, California, people will re-enact the pivotal courtroom scene and a Rhinebeck, New York bookstore will host a party with Mocktails and the band The Boo Radleys (named for a character in the book) will perform.
The powerful story follows Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the segregated South, who defends an innocent black man and protects his children against prejudice. The book inspired the classic 1962 film starring Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall.
The publisher, HarperCollins, is facilitating movie screenings and scholarly discussions through September, arranging for celebrity readings. Four new editions will be released next month with different covers.
Monroeville plans a four-day festival including silent auctions, a walking tour, marathon reading of the book in the courthouse, and a birthday party. Not unlike J.D. Salinger and Catcher in the Rye, the mysterious 84-year-old Lee, the town's most famous resident, has lived privately, rarely providing interviews. She has not published another book.
A new book by Mary McDonagh Murphy celebrating the novel Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of 50 Years of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird' will be published in June.
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