Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blogging A to Z: L is Harper Lee

Welcome to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge!

My theme for 2013 is Influential Women Authors.

My definition of influential is any author, classic or modern, who has inspired writers, readers, or the larger scope of culture. Some are personal favorites, or have special meaning to me.

What this list is not: a list of the most influential writers of all time. Rather, this is a collection of influential writers, corresponding with each day's letter.

For the full list of participating blogs, click here.

L: Harper Lee

This choice was a bit of a no-brainer. Harper Lee wrote one of the most influential books of our time, To Kill a Mockingbird. Her only book, amazingly.

Most of us probably read this in school. I did (with that cover, right), but I picked it up again as an adult after hearing how great the audiobook was, narrated by Academy Award winning actress Sissy Spacek. Her soft-spoken southern voice is the perfect companion to read this classic, and I highly recommend it.

Just how much has this book influenced our culture:

  • It frequently lands on Banned Books/Challenged Books lists for its frank display of racial injustice, racial slurs, and sexual assault
  • The author's influence on southern literature, children's literature, and even her novel's affect on the civil rights movement are dissected in books, articles, and in classrooms across the world
  • The still-highly regarded 1962 film adaptation won Gregory Peck a Best Actor award, and Mary Badham was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Scout
  • The '90s British band The Boo Radleys took their name from the book


  1. There are a lot of books that were part of my school curriculum that I would never pick up and read again- but Harper Lee's book To Kill a Mocking Bird is one I have read over and over. I do love this book and will continue to enjoy it. Great choice in Authors!

  2. Did you know that she never wrote another book because she said she would never be able to surpass Mockingbird?

    1. Amazing that this is her only book, and how influential it is.

  3. After having read it a number of times, and seen the movie, I never thought to listen to it on audio - thanks for the recommendation! And it always blows my mind that this was Lee's only book.

    Happy A-Z!

  4. Good choice. I have to get that audio version.

  5. Love this. Both the book and the movie are all time favorites of mine.

    History Sleuth's Writings A to Z

  6. I enjoyed this book in school but I haven't read it in years. I think I might have to pick it back up. It's funny how years later, the same book can have a different effect on you.

    Have fun with a-z.

  7. I actually didn't read MOCKINGBIRD in a classroom- I got to it on my own as an adult. After reading it, I wondered why I didn't get to read something like this while I was a student.

    1. I missed a lot of "required reading" too and have discovered some classics as an adult. I suppose it all depends on which teachers you get along the way.

  8. Favorite author, favorite book! I've actually reread it since school. Today it's hard to believe it still shows up on banned book lists.

    Sherrey at Healing by Writing


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