Our critics discuss Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Discussing new and classic works.
May 17 2010 11:33 AM

The Audio Book Club on To Kill a Mockingbird

Our critics discuss Harper Lee's classic novel on its 50th anniversary.

To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club discussion of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, click the arrow on the player below.

You can also download the audio file here, or you can subscribe to the Slate Audio Book Club feed via iTunes or directly with our RSS feed.

Get your 14-day free trial of Audio Book Club sponsor Audible.com, which includes a credit for one free audiobook, here.

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

This month, the Audio Book Club discusses To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's classic, and only, novel on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. The story takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Ala., during the 1930s and is told from the perspective of young Scout Finch. She lives with her older brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus—a lawyer who defends a black man charged with raping a young white woman.

In an approximately 50-minute discussion, Emily Bazelon, Meghan O'Rourke, and Troy Patterson discuss the novel's aesthetic merits and to what extent Harper Lee pulls off its overt didacticism. (Patterson notes that at times he feels "bludgeoned.") They also discuss Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article from last summer, which argues that Atticus is a typical Jim Crow liberal, and hence not so ahead of his time as most readers like to imagine.

Slate's Audio Book Club now comes to you on the third Monday of every month. Our June pick is Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields. Look for our discussion on iTunes or on the Slatehome page on Monday, June 21. Also, like the Audio Book Club on Facebook.

You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed or by clicking on the links below. To download the MP3 file, right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.

Questions? Comments? Write to us at podcasts@slate.com . (E-mailers may be quoted by name unless they request otherwise.)

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Emily Bazelon was a Slate senior editor from 2005 to 2014. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

Meghan O'Rourke is Slate's culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother's death, is now out in paperback.

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Not Easy for Me, but I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 23 2014 10:24 AM How Bad Are Your Drinking Habits? An 18th-Century Temperance Thermometer Has the Verdict
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 9:42 AM Listen to the Surprising New Single From Kendrick Lamar
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 7:00 AM I Stand With Emma Watson
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.