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Casey Cep, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
October 6, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm$11 – $24
One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019, a New York Times bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Time, Glamour, O Magazine, Town and Country and more, Casey Cep brings to life a courtroom drama, a true-crime thriller and a miniature biography of Harper Lee. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher 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. 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 her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Furious Hours tells the story of the shocking murders, the ensuing trials and the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
Casey Cep is a writer at the New Yorker. After graduating Harvard, she earned a M.Phil. in Theology at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. This is her first book.
Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium