Who said, ‘The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think’?

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think’ is a quotation that is often attributed to Harper Lee, the author of the seminal work of twentieth-century American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird. But did Harper Lee originate this quotation?

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Five Fascinating Facts about Harper Lee

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

1. Harper Lee based the character of Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird on the boy who lived next door to her as a child. That boy was Truman Capote.

Harper Lee would later work as Truman Capote’s assistant on his novel In Cold Blood, and served as the model for one of the characters in Capote’s first novel, the 1948 work Other Voices, Other Rooms

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The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 21

Our exploration of noteworthy facts involving Christmas presents and American writers continues today. Yesterday we revealed the odd items which were the only Christmas presents William Faulkner would accept from his family. Today, we look at how a generous Christmas gift led to one of the most popular and enduring works of twentieth-century literature being … Read more

Why Gove Shouldn’t Kill the Mockingbird

Regular readers of this blog may know that we at Interesting Literature are rather fond of the following story about the genesis of To Kill a Mockingbird. The story goes that Harper Lee’s friends gave her a year’s wages for Christmas, on condition that she give up work and write. By any standard of measurement, she used the … Read more