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VIRTUAL TALK: “Furious Hours” with Casey Cep
October 13, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$10.00
Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
There are two stories here. The first goes back to the 1970s, down into the Deep South. Reverend Willie Maxwell, a rural preacher, was accused of murdering five of his family members to collect the money from the insurance policies he took out on them. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Now, fast forward to 2015. While reporting on Harper Lee’s novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” writer Casey Cep visited the author’s hometown in Alabama and discovered Lee had once spent years working on a non-fiction account of this very same case. Cep then began researching the case and the author’s life, parts of which have always been shrouded in mystery. In “Furious Hours,” she tells the story of the shocking 1970s murders, the courtroom drama and the racial politics of the Deep South Harper Lee wanted to tell. She also delivers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers: her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
One of President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of the Year
Amazon’s Nonfiction Book of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Washington Post’s Best Books of the Year
One of The Economist’s Best Books of the Year
One of TIME Magazine’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s Nonfiction Book of the Year
Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction Shortlist
Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Longlist
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