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A now famous novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, was first published in 1960. The book won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize immediately, becoming a classical book of modern American literature and a bestseller, and was soon adapted into a film in 1962. Being one of only two books by Harper Lee, it brought her instant fame.
The book is written in the genre of American (Southern) Gothic and Bildungsroman, dealing first of all with the themes of racial inequality, injustice, racial and social prejudice, as well as innocence destroyed by harsh realities of life, courage, sympathy, compassion and tolerance.
The historical period when the book was written and published saw the most important and controversial social change in the US South since the Civil War, which was the attempt to change the position of black people in the traditional Southern American society. In spite of the book’s setting taking place in the mid-1930s, the views expressed in it are inspired by the situation in the 1950s.