Art And Culture

First Woman to Win Harper Lee Prize

First Woman to Win Harper Lee PrizeFirst Woman to Win Harper Lee Prize

A Mississippi-based writer has won the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for her book ‘The Secret of Magic.’

The annual Harper Lee prize is awarded to a work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to bring about change. The prize is authorized by Lee and co-sponsored by the University of Alabama, School of Law and the ABA Journal in the US.

“I am thrilled and thank the University of Alabama, the ABA Journal and the judges so very much for this wonderful honor,” Deborah Johnson said in a news release.

The prize was launched in 2010 to honor Lee, a former UA law student, and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ reports

Johnson’s book was chosen by a panel of judges that included Wayne Flynt, author and Alabama historian and Mary McDonagh Murphy, independent film and television writer. Members of the panel said ‘The Secret of Magic’ embodies the spirit of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

Johnson’s book will be honored during a Sept. 3 ceremony at the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the National Book Festival.

She is the first woman and first African-American author to win the prize.