Novelist Mark Childress ("Crazy in Alabama," "Georgia Bottoms") happened to be born in Monroeville, Alabama -- the town Harper Lee called Maycomb when she wrote about it in the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." For years, as a journalist, Childress was told to pursue an interview with the famously reclusive author, who refused all entreaties. The first essay describes the importance of Harper Lee's novel to the Southern fiction of today, and goes a distance toward exploring the question of why Harper Lee prefers to remain a figure of mystery. 2,500 words. This essay is about ten pages if typed, double-spaced, or the length of a typical magazine article. The second essay, about 1,800 words, is adapted from the remarks delivered when Childress received the "Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer" in 2014.
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October 2013 : USA Paperback
March 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition