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Book Talk: Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

May 7, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Casey Cep’s highly anticipated new book Furious Hours is the stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true crime book that Harper Lee worked on in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher in Alabama accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing a true-crime novel. Lee spent many years working on her own version of the case. Now Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders and the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggles with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Casey Cep is a writer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in English, she earned a M.Phil in Theology from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among other publications. This is her first book and this event will be Cep’s first presentation of the book in Alabama.

Copies of Furious Hours will be sold at the event.

Refreshments will be served.


May 7, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Alabama Department of Archives
624 Washington Ave
Montgomery, AL United States
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