Casey Cep, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper LeeThursday, October 29, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (run-time 90 minutes)
Renowned journalist and author Casey Cep presents her New York Times bestseller FURIOUS HOURS. In conversation with Maud Newton.
In Furious Hours, Casey Cep masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him 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 himself.
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers, and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
Casey Cep is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her first book, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and is available in paperback, hardcover, as an e-book, and as an audiobook. A proud graduate of the Talbot County Public Schools, she has an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she still lives with her family. Read more of Cep’s journalism at The New Yorker here.
Maud Newton has written personal essays, cultural and literary criticism, and fiction, and is currently writing a book about ancestors, for Random House, that will probably be out in 2021. Her essay on “America’s Ancestry Craze” was the cover story of the June 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine. Newton’s work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Narrative, the New York Times Book Review, Granta, Bookforum, the Awl, Longreads, Tin House, the Oxford American, Humanities, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Paris Review Daily and many other publications and anthologies, including the New York Times Bestseller, What My Mother Gave Me.