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SouthBound: Author Casey Cep On The Real-Life Murder Story That Harper Lee Tried To Write

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Author photo by Kathryn Schulz
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Harper Lee wrote one of the classic novels in American history, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” A second novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” was published under a cloud of controversy a few months before her death. But there was another book that Harper Lee worked on – a nonfiction story from her home state of Alabama that involved a preacher, a series of mysterious deaths, and possibly voodoo.

That story is at the center of Casey Cep’s book “Furious Hours,” which tells the story of the murder mystery and Harper Lee’s efforts to write about it. And along the way it reveals Lee as an artist who was irreparably changed – maybe even damaged – by the overwhelming success of her famous novel.

Let's keep the conversation going. Who do you want to hear from next on the SouthBound podcast?

Submit your idea in the box below. You can also send a tweet to @tommytomlinson or @wfae, and email me at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

Show notes:

Other music in this episode courtesy of bensound.com

New episodes of SouthBound come out every other Wednesday. Subscribe:

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SouthBound is a production of WFAE. Our host is Tommy Tomlinson. Our audience engagement manager is Joni Deutsch, and our main theme comes from Josh Turner.

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary that airs every Monday. He's the author of "The Elephant in the Room," a memoir about life as an overweight man in a growing America. He spent 23 years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. He has also written for publications including Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Garden & Gun. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and was a 2008-09 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte.