'To Kill A Mockingbird' going strong at 50

July 11, 2010 at 7:06 PM
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MONROEVILLE, Ala., July 11 (UPI) -- Harper Lee's American literary classic "To Kill A Mockingbird" marked its 50th anniversary Sunday, never having gone out of print since it appeared in 1960.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lee's first and only book, has sold more than 30 million copies, bringing a story of "racism, injustice and courage in a small Alabama town during the Depression" to generations of readers around the world, The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun reported Sunday. Lee is now 84.

In June publisher Harper Collins released "Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'" to accompany the documentary "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird," which features Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Anna Quindlen and other celebrities reflecting on their experience of the book.

"It's a rite-of-passage book about a child growing up, learning about the good and evil and corruption of the adult world," Andrew M. Gordon, an English professor at the University of Florida, told the Sun.

"It's about standing up for what you think is right, even in the face of strong community opposition. It creates an idealized father figure in Atticus Finch. It provides lessons in tolerance and shows the mistake of judging people on surface considerations. It's a nostalgic novel about the South during hard times, the Depression."

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