90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Documentary Shines Light On ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Author

Author Harper Lee during a ceremony honoring new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2007. (AP)

Author Harper Lee during a ceremony honoring new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2007. (AP)

In the fifty years since its publication, “To Kill A Mockingbird” has become an American classic, a staple in English classes and a critically-acclaimed movie.

A new documentary, “Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird,” looks at how the story broke ground when it was first published and unearths a rare radio interview with the now-reclusive author Harper Lee.  In the interview, Lee talks about the success of her book. “My reaction to it, was not one of surprise,” she said, “It was of sheer numbness… of being hit over the head and knocked out cold.”

We speak to the documentary’s writer, producer, and director Mary McDonagh Murphy.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Jeany Martin

    Some people read “Mockingbird” every year.  During an illness, I read it, then turned to the front and read it again until I’d re-read it 6 times in a row.  I discovered that the writing was like a wreath, that the end of the story twined back to the beginning, and that those recurring threads were embedded, like an elegant tapestry, though much more subtle, throughout the work.  That really magnified the brilliance of the writing.  Unfortunately, the movie, though good, didn’t – and could not have done – justice to the book.

  • Jeany Martin

    In my first comment, I said, “the movie, though good, didn’t – and could not have done – justice to the book” I was referring to the Mockingbird movie, not the documentary, which I’m looking forward to.

  • Jodi

    Movies don’t usually do justice to a book, they’re a different medium.  That said, the “Mockingbird” movie is one of the best adaptations of a book to movie I have ever seen.  The book and movie both stand on their own, and both compliment each other. 

  • Grace

    Where can we see this documentary????

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 21 21 Comments

The Challenges Of Recruiting An All-Volunteer Army

The Army is meeting its targets, but the man who runs recruiting says finding qualified candidates in the 17 to 24 age group can be difficult.

August 21 Comment

Syrian Clarinetist Finds A Home For His Music

"Does the clarinet stop a bullet or does it feed a child or does it rebuild a destroyed home?" Kinan Azmeh asks. "Of course it doesn't. But... it can inspire."

August 20 Comment

James Foley Remembered For His ‘Extraordinary Courage’

U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.

August 20 7 Comments

L.A. Moves To Arrest Fewer Misbehaving Students

The change in the school district's policy is the culmination of a long fight by judges, government officials, advocates and attorneys.