harper lee’s letter

October 1, 2012

harper lee


This is on of my favorite author letters responding to news the author’s book has been banned, penned by Harper Lee in 1966 when she heard To Kill a Mockingbird was pulled from school library shelves by the Hanover County School Board in Virginia. [Harper Lee so rocks.]

Monroeville, Alabama
January, 1966

Editor, The News Leader:

Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board’s activities, and what I’ve heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.

Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that “To Kill a Mockingbird” spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is “immoral” has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublethink.

I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution to the Beadle Bumble Fund that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.

Harper Lee

source: letters of note
original source: understanding to kill a mockingbird

other cool author responses to book banning:

charles bukowski
kurt vonnegut
ray bradbury
samuel clemens [aka mark twain]


8 Responses to “harper lee’s letter”

  1. […] for Vonnegut, Clemens, and Bukowski to see just a few of the greats.] My personal favorite is Harper Lee’s [To Kill a Mockingbird] which I loved so much I had to post it on Celluloid Blonde.  [Here is a […]

  2. […] bukowski harper lee kurt vonnegut ray bradbury samuel clemens [aka mark twain] Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to […]

  3. julesagray said

    I would love to re-blog this–with your permission of course!

  4. Max said

    Of course. Please share.

  5. julesagray said

    Reblogged this on mccrabass and commented:
    One of my favorite authors of all-time, and her response to her book “To Kill A Mockingbird” being banned in Virginia. Class act all the way and it wouldn’t surprise me if the gist of the letter was lost on the receivers.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio said

    Beautifully done. Love it.

  7. Max said

    Isn’t she great? I hate to be cheating on Dorothy Parker but, it’s Harper Lee!

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