tv Book Discussion on The Mockingbird Next Door CSPAN February 20, 2016 1:31pm-2:58pm EST
>> pulitzer prize-winning author harper lee's to kill a mockingbird died yesterday life and career. live next door and monroeville, alabama. >> let's see if this microsoft. it is. good evening. alabama smith. on behalf of our dedicated staff of awesome booksellers and this entire crew at the magnificent alabama theater
in the geniuses of penguin press to publish the book for half a century it is not privilege and pleasure. they also say a big high-yield to the viewers on c-span. enjoyed watching and hearing on the big screen. each attendee has received a signed 1st edition of mockingbird next with their ticket. many of you with extra copies. they are available in
alabama smith .com. the folks sitting here will also soak up the ambience of this early 20th century movie palace. lovingly restored to its original charm. the final perk of being present is that one lucky patron will walk away tonight with this 50th anniversary edition of to kill a mockingbird with the bookplate signed by harper lee. the rest of the evening format will be opening remarks, a conversation with replies to inquiries, questions from the audience
that you wrote down as you entered the theater and then joint prize. this podium will soon belong to the author of the hottest book in america. we just found out about two hours ago in view of the 1st now that it will debut this sunday when theon the new york times bestseller list at number four. blogs, tweets many of you
might quite a few of the reviews we have seen have an opinion before you read the book. we ask that thoughtful literati reserve judgment until you are the presentation answers to the questions posed. we hesitate to take anymore of the speaker's time for much of an introduction as the media has done that job for us. we will share of the georgetown graduate whose pulitzer prize, marvelous sense of humor in the respectful, gentle manner
that will be apparent as soon as you meet her. even though she spent quite a bita bit of time in our state and watched many college football games, she will not tell us if she feels bullfighter war eagle. there is one controversy she does not avoid. when it comes to the coke and pepsi wars. since her grandfather ran a two-man coca-cola bottling plan back in her hometown she maintains a strong presence for diet coke. please welcome back to sweet home alabama margin mills. [applause]
>> thank you so much. thrilled to be here and see this gorgeous theater been hearing about for quite some time. thank you for putting together a magical evening. it was such a privilege to get to know harper lee and her sister and to have them share the stories of me. and i am privileged to share them with you. some of my favorite times around the kitchen table. and i hope you will just pull up a chair, let's share some stories, celebrate and
also friends and family in that town who so generously helped me to understand the context of their lives in that town. please pull up a chair. >> short and sweet. we will get right to it. >> i have been edited for some time. i am always trying to see if i can use fewer words. >> no editing this evening. >> a great opening comment, share with the audience just what went through your mind
when you are at the best western motel on the telephone in your room rings and the voice on the other and says hello, this is operably. >> i wonder if we might meet. i tried to keep my voice from raising the couple of octaves. i was surprised and thrilled the chance to speak with her. right away at the sense of what a down to earth person she was. just if it would be all right to come by the next day. i said yes. and she showed up at the appointed time and begin the 1st of what was many conversations. one of the 1st times i remember was when i was
telling her about my reason, selected to kill a mockingbird as its 1st selection which was designed to give people reading and talking about the same book. future writer for the chicago tribune. going to readers around the world and the fictional form. they were showing the movie as part of this in chicago. she leaned over and the best western room this will be a
different. and it was also the 1st indication that came out of that movie that means the world to so many of us. the friendship that lasted through his death and after he died as well as the wonderful playwright who won an oscar for adapting mockingbird to the screen. and there was something just wonderful all those years later hearing about what these men refer to as some of the last gentlemen. appreciation of the talent and sensibility that came together.
>> there is a footnote the reference the sense of humor. one of my favorite parks was when she received a phone call from horton, and i believe his words were god here. >> i will do that. even have his gentle deep texan gentleman voice. in the new york times, after all these years, after all these years on the clean-shaven. they were having breakfast not too long after that and she told me that she had answered the phone, used
properly stories. and about to her audiotapes. tell us what brought that on. >> let me back up by giving you the context. three years at that point. and the very helpful. became a long newspaper story and is encouraged me to come back which i did in the spoke with them about the possibility of spending longer. people in birmingham. people in birmingham has video to find an apartment over someone's garage. a small town like that in a
house to rent in the good friend of theirs has suggested i like at the house two doors down or by that time i had spent a lot of time with both of them. something that i could rent for a time. and i did say to both, i wonder if that wouldn't be kind of close for comfort. i don't even want to inquire about it if that might be the case. more house than one person needed. as someone who lived in downtown chicago the rent that those charging capacity were going to charge me the outlandish sum of $650 a month.
until the sisters about this. harper's response was to words, highway robbery. offended by the idea that i would pay more than i should be. pointed out that the house right next door had been vacant for some time. it was for sale. have been for some time but had not sold. it had storm damage and had been on the market quite a while. they offered to serve as references in so i did and worked it out with the young man who owned the house being transferred to another city that i would rent it month-to-month. perfect place for me to live in the way friend have some
income while waiting to see in which what this would sell. you can imagine in the middle of the night and a fight the urge to go out and take that for sale sign out of the front yard and hide it in his garage. i was hoping that it will be available long enough for me to spend a good amount of time there and indeed it was. the fall of 2004 until the spring of 2006. one of my favorite things to hear i picked up the phone was i. he had a pot of coffee going in my heart talk around the kitchen table. we do that quite often as regulars mcdonald's.
i remember having to wait in the parking lot. the tennessee game was on. she was asking if i cannot wait until she had the final score. and you know thatharper referred to her as atticus in a skirt is that she too like the father who was an inspiration clearly was an attorney in a small town who practiced in this quiet, steadfast way. and was 15 years older. and so you are is a girl. it was a sisterly relationship and yet there were times i felt she was as much mother and sister with
that age difference. let me know how her baby sister was doing in new york this really interesting parallel existence in a way between an apartment in manhattan and take the train and spend time with allison monroeville. and it tells you something about her. she had such a tied to both of those very different places. >> wrote in her memoirs the recording the audio for to kill a mockingbird was one of the best thing she did in her professional career. mentioned the friendship. gregory peck said that
atticus finch was his role of a lifetime. give us a perspective on why those two would make such statements? >> my understanding from what i have read was the man is always the 1st one that comes to mind when i think of how generous they were. i think it is a privilege to know her henson of the people around her and a privilege to try on her work that means so much to so many people and has remarkably so since it 1st was published in 1960. remember the 1st time i saw alice we and maybe stands 5 feet tall on a good day very petite.
can picture what i'm talking about. the people wanting to tell both of them often times what the book meant to them and why. it is about that a lot of people feel a personal touch the classic novel, but there is also a sense of maybe there's a little bit of a guide to living for some people. and characters that a lot of people feel attached to. there might be more than one grandchild among these people as atticus are harper
and i think that's one more reflection of why it means so much to people. >> so many scenes in your book that put a normal, ordinary image in the reader's mind of this literary, mysterious woman. would you elaborate on the ambience, coffee at mcdonald's. >> wardrobe shopping at walmart. feeding quarters in the washing machine. >> one of the things we appreciated most of us are
simply they lived. and i think for me one of the most instructive things and getting a glimpse of their life was on the drive a leading duo we are talking about. that was one of the great pleasures by exploring a part. but we passed a beautiful southern home, grand home. in the passenger seat. a common configuration. this beautiful home. but said one thing about us referring to her in dallas, we can appreciate beauty without needing to possess it.
we look, dealt with the world of material things. people even now they hear a subsidiary lived kemal and very inspired by that. spent time on wardrobe habitat house. not on television. it was refreshing. >> a wonderful perception. so many of you think it 1st started. >> and i have to say, the sense of them in that town,
one of the great pleasures was that it was a story for them on a drive. the story of the family it is that there in the fuses or started generations earlier. and all the stories that were command landscape and just tried to get a sense of what it was like,being the ones who are listening to the stories. and alice whenever there was man alice story didn't take long. we grew up. has a lot of people that generation did hearing stories that were not just information but pleasure in
telling the story and appreciating characters in the town and in the family and having a sense of humor. it can be a source of great consternation for all of us. but also for humor and that there is something human about that. >> that is the word. harper lee's life, the movie capote was just coming out, just coming out, sandra bullock playing harper lee. and at the same time charles
shields biography was coming out. and you write and reread affected harper lee's feelings than that in the book you will see this where she had a copy of the tape of capote. >> i was not going to say that. and playing it happily residence and they have a little trouble at that time hearing. you are saying the words that i did not say. >> certainly. this has been yet another modest houston the neighborhood the belong to a friend of theirs for a bit,
friend of mine. and with whom they took a lot about things, that kind of thing. in this crowd if you are is technologically unsophisticated as i am but want to feel like a rock star in the tech world commanding out with people who are impressed if you can press fast-forward. everyone. you know, i kind of call them my gray-haired posse. quite a bit older. and so someone who knew how to work.work. in this case it was not even a dvd player. and so one evening as anybody would not knowing how they would be portrayed and wondering about this experience you actually had
been brought to the screen through the imagination research associate wanted to see it and we went to this friends house that a vcr. she had hearing difficulties already at that time and so the 1st mode button i was pushing was the volume. and that was when pressed play and we going to watch the beginning of this movie that she was about to be seen well kinds of people around the country. and i said, just tell me when it is loud enough. it went up and up and up. was hard to here all the dialogue. pause after a line or two of dialogue and tell her, i was not sure whether i should be and then you said.
and then she said. and so i settled on and then you said. and it was so interesting. every couple of lines of dialogue deposit repeat. she often had commentary on that. and because through the movie that way. and i cannot help thinking that evening as she was going home what ended up being a special evening, if that was off for me can you imagine what it was like for her? and i think on a sad note she had been so complementary of philip seymour hoffman's performance as truman capote , quite a, quite a big man in real life and somehow managed to inhabit is very petite figure and very particular mannerisms of truman capote who has been
laura hillanbrand you spent the am a majority of the time writing this book in bed. >> i did. >> tell us how in the world that was. >> well, you know, i did write most of the book in bed with lupus. frequent rest is health. i would work in whatever chunks i could. a lot of times just there in my apartment in chicago in bed. to me, it was the power of books to transport you to another time, to another place, i remember when i first read "to kill a mockingbird" i was in 9th grade at madison west high school in my home town of madison, wisconson feeling transported to the old creaky library through to streets of
macomb. it is frustrating. particularly as a journalist one of the appealing things was to be out and about and travel and meet people so it was frustrating spending large chunks of time in bed and alone mostly. i have wonderful supportive friends, and family and my mom, carla, is here traveling with me and making all of the difference as usual. so i had good company in that sense. and i still had catherine chukker windham on the tapes there. it was frustrating to be at home so much. to travel by way of written word in reading and writing it. in the writing of it, i was reliving at lot of the experiences i had in monroeville. so quite often, as i wrote of
lee's helper, a remarkable woman in her own right, who was her helper who i was living next door, i felt like i was resurfacing at the end of the day after spending time in my imagination and notes and research. and that was true of julie who spent time telling me about her life as an african-american woman who grew up at the time she did. she was a nurse and a midwife for many years and would tell those tales and that spell she knew how to fast that nel and alice were masters of the art where you almost forget where you for a moment and resurface and remember. for me, it was a way to be out in the world even when i really
wasn't. there is a little bit of faith and hope involved in such a solitary process that the time will come when you are sharing those stories with other people and how remarkable it is to be doing that with you here tonight. this was such a gift that they both shared with me. i want to be just to share that gift with all of you. there were stories they didn't want to share and as i mentioned in the book a lot of times to spare the feelings of a friend or relative who was part of a story their shared but not for the book and yet there were so many, i think, that they delighted in telling and were ready to share. there is just such a gift they gave me and that i am so glad to be sharing with all of you now.
[applause] >> thank you very much. very thoughtful. a wonderful moment, maybe, one of the most wonderful moments of the many wonderful moments, that fascinated me was the road trip you and nel took to new jersey. wouldia -- nell took to new jersey and would you tell us about that road trip? >> i had a car. a retired, semi-retired methodist minister went with me to buy a car and he dubbed it old blue because all cars in that area need a nickname. i was going to be driving old
blue from monroeville to princeton, new jersey. not too far from new york where nell would be visiting. she came along as my passenger. she didn't fly. and the train, which used to go to evergreen, alabama, no longer went at close. she decided she would join me on this trip. i decided i need to be prepared for any contingency. i got water bottles, orange traffic cones, i joined aaa and i wondered if i should get a sign to put on my car like the taxis in new york have but this one would say please drive carefully, national treasure on
board. i didn't want to have to answer to the nation if anything happened on that drive. but other than me hitting a rut in their driveway before we were two minutes on the road i think her comment was, trying to remember exactly, way to get off to a good start -- something along those lines. we did end up having a smooth trip. can you imagine a better person to be drinking mother coffee with and talking about the country go by our windows as we drove. i remember thinking all of those years she took the train the country had not seen much of harper lee but harper lee had seen a lot of the country. she liked to travel. she took the train to los angeles when i was living in monroeville for a library fundraiser that i believe at
that point gregory peck's widow was involved in and that support of libraries was one of the reasons if first got to know hem them and her friendship with had pecks was reasonable enough to take a train from new york to los angeles and then go from there to eventually make her way to alabama. >> when nell wanted to talk off the record, like she mentioned the town's biggest gossip, or other areas that might be extremely sensitive. what was your reaction as a reporter when nell said this is "off the record" don't write that? >> that was absolutely what i
would respect. there may be people here who i think have had the privilege of spending time with her and know she has a gesture she makes with her index finger. and she would say that is "off the record" or she would sometimes say "you put that in there". my feelings was of course i wanted to respect her wishes and made note of those. they were more candid than i might have predicted actually. but had a sense that the burden of fame, which harper lee and l alice lee as well as someone involved with her affairs all of those years, felt it personally and felt it didn't need to extend to friends and relatives who had not signed up for that any more than necessary.
a lot of times these were stories that were appreciation of human flavor and the excesses of people and the characters in a small town but they didn't want to be the source of hurt feelings and so those were ones that i didn't share. >> i knew that. i wanted you to share that with the audience and while on that subject before we get to these questions holy mackerel this is a smart bunch of folks. these are incredible. i am embarrassed. these are a lot better than mine. before we dig into these all of the doubters and naysayers i am going to take personal privilege. there was a witness to one of the dinners that you talk about and she is a former neighbor of nells for much longer you were a
neighbor -- nell's -- we have had several conversation and i got her permission to mention this. she shared with me you were just the smartest person and the greatest sense of humor and you and nell cut up like old friends. and julie said i could tell you. wave j wave, julie. >> hello. i have not seen you since that night so long ago. it is great to see you again. >> one thing about spending time with harper and alice is they are so witty and it raised the game of everybody at the table because you wanted good stories to share yourself. there was a lot of laughter at those tables and as i recall
there was quite a bit that night. i believe her phrase was i have a yankee for you. they were coming from out of north, perhaps north of the mason dixon line, who was with us that evening as well. she was concerned most of my friends there were in their 80's and 90's and some 70's which is sounding younger and younger to me all of the time. but there were not as many young people for me to spend time and that night was a chance to do that as well. >> yeah, it was great fun. >> thank you for coming, julie. my last request for you before we get into these and it would be a day dream for the audience. you mentioned in the book the possibilities of what it would be like to have on our bookshelves if nell harper lee
had written a few more books and some of the occasions that you were with her that it seemed like she ought to have written a book about race, about community, about the minister who murdered for insurance money. and i would like for you to touch on that, if you would. and the evening you ran across the east asian immigrants and n nell's thoughts. that is a lot to cover. >> let me start with the last one. the evening you are referring to i believe is a dinner at a mexican restaurant in monroeville. those of you have spent time there know the dining options are somewhat limited. there are a matter of places but it ends up being david's cat
fish tonight or rowdy's? we had decided to try a mexican restaurant that was sort of on the outskirts of town. when there, there were not too many people at the restaurant but there was a long time of people who were indian origin. it was generations of this extended family and more, i think. there were people primarily who ran motels in that larger area. some had come more recently and some came from the other part of the state. she was interested in how it works and how it worked when people were starting with nothing and able to get a foothold economically and socially. and i have very few practical skills i will say.
i have a terrible sense of direction, i am not a cook, but i do speak spanish. so that was -- when i was able to help with something practical which was she wanted to ask the waitress who was still learning english more about those families and so there i was asking a waitress from mexico about the families from india and translating for nell who was so interested and animated. where was capitated by how social classes work and how people interact and what changes and what doesn't. and full of questions. kept apologizing and kept on asking the waitress more questions about how it works. i did have a pain that evening that i would love to selfishly read the book she could write about that part of the
experience in that part of alabama or conversely there was a possible death penalty case in monroeville after the murder of a physician and his wife. terribly sad case where their son killed his parents and ended up committing suicide before this went to trial. but it looked like it would be a death penalty case. so we spent time talking about that issue. there were other occasions where i could not help thinking how much people would like to know what she thought about that and the stories she could tell and i felt how much she came to life a lot of time talking about those kinds of things and about the stories that tell you more about issues than anything else. although, of course, it was her
decision. and only she knew what was the right thing for her to do and why. i have to say there are times i pictured a small, or large, but at least some volumes that might have been written had she chosen to continue publishing after she did. >> those were very thought-provoking and i re-read those several times. we can all daydream what if. >> i can remember harper telling me not too long after i had moved there, i think. she was talking about being in law school, which she had attended, and said the dry te technicalities didn't interest her but the human stories and the drama of the trial did. i think that was wan reason it was so interesting to know her and alice in that context
because alice was a master of detail and of the dry, tech technicalities and have the same aprecation for the human stories behind them but was very patient in dealing with the methodical aspects of doing that job. >> well, we are not going to get through these several hundred but we will go through as many as we can. >> just say side trip if i am going away from the answer. >> i cannot wait to hear this. someone said i think a book about alice would be interesting. would she be open to that? are you interested in pursuing that? >> well, alice is as worthy as many books as you could possibly read about her. people who said people who
don'ts -- don't know them as sisters don't believe us when we say ms. alice is every bit as remarkable in her own way. i don't know the answer to the specific question whoever had that but i would say just as nell harper had a singular perspective on what it meant to write the book she did and have the response she did all these years alice was in a singular position in a lot of ways and was keeper of the family history. one of the things we wanted to do was preserve as many stories as she was able to share and she had time to share. i was ginger in the beginning about the question -- a lot of
their friends were pleased she was willing to record a lot of the family's stories that probably would go with her when she died if she didn't. she just had a memory and now is 102. practice law until she was 1 100 -- that nobody else had. there was a sense of urgency on her part and the other people that encouraged her to speak with me. they were much more matter of fact about it. alice used to say -- they gave me assignments regularly and one was to visit a lot of different churches. visit black, white, baptist, methodist, and the breakaway versions that develop over time and other denominations. but they wanted me to speak with
the people who had known their fami family. alice would say i want you to talk to so sand so and do that early on while he still has his marbles. there is a wonderful photograph of her that ran as the lead photograph in the napaper and y see the same gaze and her saying you talk to so and so while they are still above ground.
and part of what made it always feel, there was something predictable and a good sense of the word, i would say, but a lot of what they shared with me as i got to know them better. spent so much time with them. but there was also always something original, never quite sure what she would have to say about something, and it made for such fun. >> this next question says, you want a pulitzer prize for journalism. nestlé one for literature. >> made the distinction that of course she won the pulitzer prize for a beautiful novel.
i was part of a large team of importers that worked on a series called gateway did gridlock about o'hare airport. and, you know, this was very much a team effort. one of many fascinating projects to work on. i think now and others i have met including a woman i describe in the book, there is a feeling of doing something that matter to you that had nothing to do was simply the need to make aa living, although certainly that is a consideration in any profession. but a sense of purpose that i think gave meaning to the lives of the people i no
have done that work into their projects, a sense of it being about something more, and i will just mention briefly a friend of mine won a pulitzer prize in 2,005 for a series that was really about the randomness of fate, and it re-created a tornado swept through small town in illinois, and the randomness of fate in part was that this is one of those tornadoes we know too well when there was very little warning. people who somewhat randomly turn right on one side of the main street and went into a tavern on one side survived, those who happen to turn left and went to the other did not. and so beautifully re-created what it was like to be they're when that happened but also how people
came to terms. she was awarded the pulitzer prize in 2,005. living in monroeville at that time in chicago for some doctors appointments, my rheumatologist, but when that was enough i believe that was maple them i was there and the other party for her atmy apartment. i was not too far from the chicago tribune. so get a kicka kick out of the story i told about ordering a cake to celebrate this achievement a fancier bakery than i had ever order to cake from and delivered it to my door. and julia keller would often get julie. and so i told the person,
and i was recounting this when i returned not long after this, yet another kitchen table all of this was that of a friend, but i had told the people who were writing on the top of the cake that i would like it to say congratulations, julia. pulitzer prize 2005. but i said, julia sometimes gets julie. could you please be sure you spell it within a. i don't mean to be a pain in a pain in the neck but could you read it back to me. quite a heavy accent. i wanted to be sure that he was understanding me better than i was able to understand him during that conversation on the phone. what an honor. julia, wejulia, we have it. no worries. well, right before a bunch
of people from the chicago tribune for coming over to celebrate the cake was delivered. i picked up the lead in my heart sank because it said -- it did say congratulations julia, but then it said pulitzer prize 2005. [laughter] which of course is something we still call her all these years later. she is quite lyrical. but now that such a kick out of the story, the home of another mutual friend, but also i think one of the things i so respected about both of them is they were talking about their experience, the real respect for achievement as opposed to simply celebrity for its own sake. the pulitzer was meaningful
naturally for her in something next clearly was about achievement. and also something that the father lived to see her receive which gave it an extra level of meaning as well. he died before the movie came out but lived to see that achievement. there was a sparkle of pride. >> several poets in the audience. create a pulitzer prize. this is one, i don't know if you will answer, but -- >> i choose to say no comment.
>> are you planning to attend your college or union? >> my goodness. hello. ii graduated. the short answer is yes, i would love to. in the hospital in monroeville. part about it from a friend by phone and would love to. i would also add that although my older friends older eyes of the thought that i know what it's like to be getting older, my classmate as a freshman at georgetown was patrick ewing well, imagine what i was still feeling young listening to the commentators. and there goes poor patrick ewing hobbling on his knees. and he was -- we were class of 85.
i would love to return. >> hope that answers the question. we discussed this earlier. tell us a tale you did not tell in the book. >> my goodness, did you have one in particular? >> no. >> atreides like the story, typical of my experience in that category of pulling the chair i listen to the stories. one of the ones i touched on in the book but did not write as much as i would've liked to was an alice that i mentioned. mother sister liked one male hyperlink had a playful sense of language that was such fun and that was part of a way of looking at the
world really. and so they would have had alice's how i can think of it. and one of my favorites was the term flight plan to having a bit of whether today. the trees ready to flow down , and alice's term she created aa site plan. and i think there was some amusement on both of the sisters parts that she had gotten a digital clock was also familiar with her medication and never could quite get it straight at this was not a digitalis clock. they had such affection for her and her some of the other relatives that we
talked about. mr. nash, every now and then mr. nash was married to their aunt who herself referred to him as mr. nash, a bit of a more formal generation. and mr. nash would save money by driving rather slowly and conserving gas. so if someone was driving a little bit slowly that day they were driving like mr. nash. the one thing i love about living in downtown chicago is not needing a car. if i am home in wisconsin i think to myself, i'm driving like mr. nash. it makes me think of harper itself as a name.
some of you would be familiar with this, but maybe not most. whenever i hear the beckham's in england have a daughter, victoria, victoria beckham and her soccer star husband david, they have a little girl named harper's or the many other children that are named harper, i think of how that name came to be and that it really was thanks to an otherwise forgotten someone pediatrician who is able to come up with formula that the 3rd of the three lee sisters and the baby she was unable to digest formula and this pediatrician finally after they made the rounds and desperately worried that it would not survive, they came across pediatrician by
the name of doctor william harper. ten years later when harper lee came into the world in an upstairs bedroom, the name was thanks to the pediatrician who i'm sure could not imagine would know that his name in the streets of london and all kinds of places that he could not imagine being a part of. >> there was another nugget that was wonderful to read in the book that is when i don't know. take a couple more and then the o'clock on the wall is ticking. now our alice address the truman capote issues
concerning the probability that he wrote to kill a mockingbird. >> just a wee bit. [laughter] and that wonderful video that i just saw for the 1st time, what a treasure. so captured harper and dallas in a couple of the stories. i'm sorry, i am off on the mental side. >> now or alice addressing the issue. >> the phrase about that was that the biggest lie ever told, and it was a source of consternation as was mentioned in those comments, cannot be any credence put to that theory. the might be some question as to how much harper
assisted more than she was explicitly thanked inning cold blood or she went to kansas with them. and those of you watch the movies are know about the history no, she went to kansas taken place in the farmhouse there and i don't know about the writing of the book but i know how helpful it was to him to have someone who so easily could put people at ease in the small town. such a character, and it was helpful to him to have someone who people felt they knew after not talking to her for all that long. and really was quite a health and the researching of and cold.
incidentally in his career there was some sense that he was floundering a bit. felt this was a good and serious project and she wanted to be of help to him. i think certainly was an share that fascination for criminal justice for the stories of a crime like that and then what happens as more found out about the crime. and cold blood really became one of the early examples of what he called the nonfiction novel, narrative that he was attempting to tell in the novelistic fashion.
>> this might take the rest of the evening. what things did you find inspired hopefully? >> such an appreciation for how hard people worked, especially as someone who knew the depression and fitted in such an iconic white. was always impressed whatever someone's background, family history with people who have thethat perseverance to work hard a lot of times are not very much pay for college for families. it was -- there were values from their father that they both talked about that you see in the book, but you see
in the way that they lived command that was one of the ones that was most striking in my conversation. the appreciation of how hard it was in the respect for the people who found a way to provide for family and persevere they certainly knew hardship. the new people who lived so close to the margins, to how much a family can get by and an appreciation of how many people managed to do that in such difficult circumstances and perhaps some feeling in their own voice that there
was a commonality of concern that maybe what a lot of us now would consider what you need to get by his inflated. the difference between need and want commanded is maybe a problem that want can begin to seem like me. and that puts pressure on people. >> we are just about to run out of time before we bid adieu to you have any parting remarks for these folks?
>> well, all i will say in the interest of being able to leave the theater physically intact is that i did write full time in a in washington a few days ago. but it was only because, let me add, it is only because a gentleman who had written that electing me and said this is a gift and i did have to mention to him my honorary brother. always introduced me as a sister. a man in his 40s who had down syndrome.
>> just about even stephen. probably best leave the subject. before we have, most of the audience is in a good mood me appreciate your taking time out to come to birmingham alabama. many of us to not have a preconceived notion. he did it in a marvelous manner and in a respectful manner. i feel much better having read and thank you for your gift to literary world. and before we thank all of you for coming someone is
really going to be happy. before she draws the name and before everyone is mad she did not draw yours, let's tell this young lady how much we appreciate her. >> thank you so much. >> if thea georgetown person when's the drawing and will be mighty suspect. >> strictly by seat numbers. >> the great ceremonial not look. i will pull from the middle. >> okay. >> first read the row. >> row. >> we will do this was some
a staff writer for the new yorker where she reports on government secrecy,secrecy, the role of money in politics and us counterterrorism policy. in her most recent book she reports on the political and economic underpinnings of the conservative movement with a focus on charles and david coke. her other titles include strains justice in which she examines the sexual harassment allegations against justice clarence thomas during his confirmations hearing. landslide which looks at internal dissension within the reagan administration during the last four years of his presidency. in 2,008 jane mayer appeared on book tv afterwords to discuss her book the dark side. >> the lawyers pretty much laid the foundation for a program of interrogation. they did so, the 1st thing that happened, and the push
is from vice president cheney who decides to get rid of the geneva convention when they get rid of the rules and rules of war and declare that they are not criminals they are basically putting them in a legala legal limbo the make up the rules as they go along. >> live on book tv in-depth noon until 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> many of this year's presidential candidates have written books to introduce themselves to voters and promote there views.views. here's a look at some of the candidates books.