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10 Famous Authors Discuss To Kill a Mockingbird

Many famous authors, near and far, have been affected by Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. See what they have to say about the book below.


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“Few contemporary literary American novels have such a sweep and fewer have the confidence to take on social issues in the way Harper Lee does. Much literary writing today about racism is cloaked in irony or in so much lyricism that it becomes gaseous. Lee refuses to hide behind aesthetics. Her writing is so beautiful, so steady and even and limpid, that she might have evaded confronting these tribalisms head-on, but she doesn’t.” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“From my sister’s nightstand, I grabbed the paperback she’d been yapping about, To Kill a Mockingbird. The cover had a Technicolor picture of Gregory Peck and some little girl in overalls. I opened the book and read the first sentence, ‘When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.’ Three days later, I finished the book. A novel had never kidnapped me before. Until Mockingbird, I’d had no idea that literature could exert so strong a power.” –Wally Lamb 


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“I remember reading a portion of it thinking, reluctantly, this is really good. But I couldn’t admit it… It’s hard to imagine Empire Falls being written without To Kill a Mockingbird, because I don’t think Tick could have existed without Scout.” —Richard Russo

“Every time I go back, I’m impressed more by the simplicity of the prose . . . Although it’s plainly written from the point of view of an adult, looking back through a child’s eyes, there’s something beautifully innocent about the point of view, and yet it’s very wise.” —Mark Childress


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“I promised myself that when I grew up and I was a man, I would try to do things as good and noble as what Atticus had done for Tom Robinson.” —Scott Turow

To Kill a Mockingbird is probably in the top three of books like that, where you utterly live in the book, and walk around in the book, and know everyone down to the ground in the book, and then leave, and then inevitably come back. I can’t imagine anyone I like reading To Kill a Mockingbirdand then not rereading it.” —Anna Quindlen

“I think it is our national novel.” —Oprah Winfrey

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