Harper Lee’s <em>To Kill a Mockingbird</em> Named America’s Best-Loved Novel in PBS Survey
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was voted America’s #1 best-loved novel in PBS’s Great American Read survey. The survey was conducted over a six-month period as part of a series focused on reading.
“The novel started out at No. 1 on the first day of the vote, and it never wavered,” series host Meredith Vieira said, according to the Associated Press.
The 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells a coming-of-age story set in the south, in a time wrought with racism and injustice. The story—Lee’s first and only published novel aside from Go Set a Watchmen, released in 2015—has been translated into more than 40 languages, with more than 40 million copies sold worldwide.
Writer Aaron Sorkin appeared on the PBS episode Tuesday to praise Lee’s winning novel. His theatrical adaptation of the book begins Broadway previews next month.
“There is soul-crushing injustice in this book that still exists,” said Sorkin, AP reports. “And at the center, morality, decency and what it is to be a person strikes us.”
According to PBS’s survey, in which more than 4 million votes were cast, To Kill a Mockingbird is truly a beloved American classic. The runner-ups, also announced Tuesday, included Diana Gabaldon’s time-traveling romance series, Outlander; J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter; Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga.
The survey began with about 7,200 Americans nominating their favorite book or series through a PBS/YouGov survey. A list of 100 Great American Reads was then curated from these nominations by an advisory panel of literary experts, with series listed as a single entry. The rankings were determined through the final 6-month voting period, with To Kill a Mockingbird reigning the entire time.