Each April, Pulitzer Prize winners are announced in 21 categories by Columbia University in New York City. The Pulitzer Prize has come to be recognized as the "highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements and musical composition." Typically, winners present a slice of American life.
Some Pulitzer-winning books endure decade after decade because of their messages to generations of audiences.
One book that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961 is "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Alabama author Harper Lee. It has since been published as a downloadable audiobook. The novel is set in a typical small Southern town in the days of the Civil Rights Movement. The novel is, at least on the surface, a simple tale of a young girl named Scout as she comes of age in a politically charged time period. The issues portrayed in the novel grow out of Jim Crow and the treatment of African Americans. Scout's journey from the innocence of childhood to a stark encounter of racial injustice in the South is a gripping story for both young people and their elders, who learn much about themselves through the innocent eye of a child.
Lee's novel tackles complex and universal issues. Not only did "To Kill a Mockingbird" win the Pulitzer, but librarians have named it the best novel of the 20th century.
The Thalia Book Club: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Celebration Audiobook celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird." This best-selling audiobook consists of readings by expert voices, both male and female, discussions and question-and-answer sessions with authentic audiences. The audiobook can be inexpensively and easily downloaded for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, your classroom or your automobile.
Almost every high-school student encounters "To Kill a Mockingbird" before high-school graduation, most often as required reading. Parents can explore the novel along with their children and open their own discussions about issues that are even more relevant in today's world than they were in the 1960s South. Families in today's digital world are quickly recognizing the value of using downloadable audiobooks to supplement their children's educational programs and begin priceless dialogues within their family settings.
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. Even though she lived well into her 80s, she published only the one book, but her masterpiece went on to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Harper Lee has influenced writers such as Eudora Welty, Truman Capote, Kaye Gibbons and thousands of young people transitioning from largely segregated schools of the 1950s and 1960s to today's classrooms of students not all that far removed from the racism of those eras.
Thalia Book Club: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Celebration Audiobook can be completed in under two hours, making it a convenient substitution for a few reality television shows or a rewarding way to enjoy a short road trip.
Performance playlist: Readings and conversation with Kurt Andersen, Libba Bray, Stephen Colbert, Oskar Eustis, Mary McDonagh Murphy, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Isaiah Sheffer, a discussion with the audience.
Authors and actors including Stephen Colbert, Libba Bray (award winning young-adult novelist Going Bovine, winner of 2010 Printz Award), Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director at The Public Theater), Kurt Andersen (novelist and Studio 360 Host), Jayne Anne Phillips (novelist and National Book Award finalist Lark & Termite), filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy (author of the upcoming book Scout, Atticus, and Boo), and others pay tribute to the Pulitzer prize-winning classic novel about racial injustice and loss of innocence in a small Southern town. One of the most taught -- and frequently challenged -- books of the last 50 years, the book was voted the best novel of the 20th century by librarians. The evening includes readings, discussion and audience Q&A. Download and start listening now!