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Posted on May 6, 2019 in Author Interviews, President's Picks

Discover “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee”

This year’s BAM President’s Pick is available now! In her thrilling debut, author Casey Cep explores the mystery surrounding Harper Lee’s only work of nonfiction–a book that Lee would never finish–and the shocking killings at its center. Check out a little bit of what she had to say when she visited the BAM offices last month, and keep reading to find out what critics are saying about the book.

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In his New York Times review of the book, Michael Lewis writes, “it’s…in her descriptions of another writer’s failure to write, that [Cep’s] book makes a magical little leap, and it goes from being a superbly written true-crime story to the sort of story that even Lee would have been proud to write.” Read the full review, titled “The True-Crime Story That Harper Lee Tried and Failed to Write,” here.

In an interview with the New York Times, Casey Cep discusses her experience researching and writing the book that David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon) describes as “a triumph on every level.”

There are two mysteries at the heart of Furious Hours–the mystery of the crimes themselves, but also the mystery of Harper Lee’s unfinished book about the crimes, a book that seemed destined to become Harper Lee’s In Cold Blood. Read an excerpt of her interview below, and check out the full article here.

Q. Which was the harder mystery to unravel, the story behind the alleged murders, or what happened to Harper Lee’s unfinished manuscript?

A. I’m not sure I solved either of them. But I hope I’ve given people all the evidence that I can for readers to draw their own conclusions about everything, from did the Reverend do it to how did he do it if he did it, and what did Harper Lee write, what didn’t she write or why couldn’t she write?

What was the most challenging thing about taking Lee on as a subject?

There’s a tremendous amount of her inner life that remains enigmatic even to those who knew her best. She just was exceedingly private. It was not even just a public-facing privacy; it was even with people who knew her well, and I think in some of those core instances, she was inscrutable even to herself.

Read the full interview here.

Read Michael Lewis’s review here.

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