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Topic: "The Jane Austen of South Alabama"

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Subject: "The Jane Austen of South Alabama"
Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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The 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is drawing near.  You'll find one piece about the novel and its author and its impact on American literature in the June 2010 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.  After the book appeared, in July, 1960, Lee said, only half-jokingly, "All I want is to be the Jane Austen of south Alabama".   Maybe that is what she has become?

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 1:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I recently atttended a performane of TKAM, done by the locals of Monroeville, Alabama, Lee's hometown.  They have performed the play for the last twenty years and it was an outstanding performance.  Supposedly Miss Lee, who stills lives there, has never attended.  We were told that she had come to the previous night's performance (my luck), perhaps because of this upcoming anniversary.

A very few years ago, I attended a banquet where Lee was to be presented a state humanitarian award for the writing of this book.  I was very irritated at her two minute acceptance speech after which she disappeared behind the background curtains.  Evidently, it is not meant for me to meet this writer (very much the recluse).

With only one book, I'm not sure how she could be the "Jane Austen" of anywhere.  However, Monroeville has dubbed itself "the literary capital of Alabama."  They also claim Truman Capote since he spent his boyhood summers there.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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My whole family just read To Kill A Mockingbird, without realizing it is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We should have had a party.