Harper Lee’s classic was published fifty years ago today (a fiftieth anniversary edition is currently fifth in the list of best selling paperbacks in the UK). I read an excellent article by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie yesterday (here), extolling the book’s virtues. Ngozie Adichie writes interestingly about Harper Lee’s depiction of the three major manifestations of American tribalism: race, class and region. Mmm… I suspect other analysts would add some more categories to that list. But it is true that Harper Lee wrote with an extraordinarily broad sweep and took on social issues with great confidence. ‘Sometimes,’ Ngozie Adichie argues, ‘novels are considered “important” in the way medecine is – they taste terrible and are difficult to get down your throat, but are good for you. The best novels,’ she continues, ‘are those that are important without being like medecine; they have something to say, are expansive and intelligent but never forget to be entertaining and to have character and emotion at their centre. Harper Lee’s triumph is one of those.’ Amen