Lee’s only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1961) has been read by more people than perhaps any other book our group has read previously (30 million copies sold), with the possible exception of Lolita. Consequently, it is almost impossible to say something unique about the novel so I am going to address some of the less noted aspects of the book.
Mockingbird is not a perfect book and has its detractors. Some of the less flattering commentary has been superficial criticism based on Lee’s use of the epithet, “nigger.” Other critics have complained about the fact that one of the characters, a white woman, was attracted to a black man, then falsely accused him of rape. Those kinds of reactions are to be expected when a novel of this caliber addresses issues such as race and class, and does so in a divisive, but insightful manner. (more…)