- About Author
To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. Due to the multiple themes addressed in the novel, it has the genre characteristics of a bildungsroman and a Southern gothic. Upon its release, it became instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American fiction. The novel is loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown when she was 10 years old.
Lee's novel is widely taught in schools in English speaking countries with lessons that tie into tolerance and prejudice. The novel addresses themes such as courage, racial injustice, the death of innocence, tragedy, and coming of age, set against a backdrop of life in the Deep South. The character of Atticus Finch, the narrator's father, has served as a moral hero for many readers, and a singular model of integrity for lawyers. One writer noted its impact in saying, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."