The following article was posted on The Palm Beach Daily News website:
Posted Jul 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM
Raptis Rare Books in Palm Beach marks 60th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird with an array of Harper Lee collectibles.
Raptis Rare Books is marking the 60th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird with an exhibition of rare signed first editions, letters and Lee’s original drawings at the Palm Beach store.
The exhibition opens Wednesday and runs through Aug.1 at 226 Worth Ave.
The book, which explores racism from the perspective of a young girl growing up in Monroeville, Ala., in the early 20th century, is particularly timely in light of recent events that have brought the nation’s systemic racism to the forefront, according to the store’s promotional materials.
The novel is one of American literature’s most-read and beloved books. A Pulitzer Prize winner, it has been translated into 40 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. It was adapted as a film starring Gregory Peck in 1962 and a Broadway play in 2018.
The trove at Raptis includes a collection of letters signed by Lee to Charles Weldon Carruth, who was a close friend for decades. In a 1993 letter, she wrote that she “nearly had a fit” when she saw a billboard in Monroeville, where she grew up, featuring a mockingbird. She described it as “in indescribable taste” and added ”[They] say they are doing this to honor me. What they are doing… [is] embarrassing me beyond endurance.”
Another highlight is a first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Lee and Truman Capote. Their friendship began in 1929 when both were five and they became next-door neighbors in Monroeville. Lee drew on their friendship for the characters Lee and Scout in the novel.
Raptis Rare Books is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Masks are required in the gallery and entry is limited to preserve social distancing.
For information, call 561-508-3479 or visit raptisrarebooks.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird-the-great-american-novel/