At one point in the two year-long writing process, Lee became so tired and frustrated that she threw her unfinished manuscript out of the window. Luckily for the literary world, her agent demanded that she collect her novel-in-progress from the snow bank and get back to work.
First published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961, and has to date sold an estimated 30,000,000 copies. The editors at Reader’s Digest were enthusiastic early fans, adding Lee’s novel to their condensed book series, which helped stimulate mass public acceptance.
British librarians have called Lee’s classic the one book every adult should read before they die, and the Library of Congress has placed To Kill a Mockingbird second only to the Bible on a short list of books most often described as “making a difference.”
Set in a small Southern town in the mid 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird is a social commentary-courtroom drama -comingof age story told through the eyes of a young girl, Scout. Scout and her older brother Jem learn firsthand about racial prejudice and social injustice as they watch their lawyer father unsuccessfully defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.
To Kill a Mockingbird appears on just about every favorite books list, and has never been out of print since its original publication.