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Booking Travel: Sweet Home Alabama
9/24/2009
Scout out the town that inspired Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Maycomb, Ala., may be home to Jem, Scout, Dill, Atticus Finch and the ever-lurking Boo Radley, but it's Monroeville — the real-life twin to the literary creation — where author Nelle Harper Lee left her indelible mark. Lee immortalized both the real and imaginary with the 1960 release of To Kill A Mockingbird, which took a bold look at the treatment of African-Americans by a predominately white Southern society. The book's 1961 Pulitzer Prize win only helped to solidify the literary legitimacy of both towns — Monroeville became the official “literary capital” of Alabama in 1996.

Located halfway between Montgomery and Mobile, Monroeville also was home to many of the characters Lee later would weave into Maycomb's all-too-real foundation. It's long been believed that the character of Dill is a fictionalized version of Truman Capote — author of Breakfast at Tiffany's — who, just like Dill, spent summers in the Southern town living with relatives. And shades of Lee's father, lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee, can be found in the honorable Atticus Finch.

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