UA School of Law, ABA Journal Name Finalists for Harper Lee Prize

  • May 11th, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have announced the finalists for the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The three books chosen to compete for the prize are: “Gone Again” by James Grippando, “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult and “The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore.

“The ABA Journal is honored to be a continuing part of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction,” said Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal. “We’re particularly excited about the diversity of topics in this year’s finalists: a compelling narrative on race in America, a riveting piece of historical fiction on the lawyering behind the electrification of America, and a gripping legal thriller with a race against the death penalty at the center of the story.”

The prize, authorized by the late Ms. Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Seven years ago, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and to honor former Alabama law student and author Harper Lee, The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered to create The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

There were 25 entries for the Prize, and a team of reviewers chose three books for the Selection Committee’s consideration. The public is invited to cast votes on the ABA Journal website,, to help determine who the winning author will be.

The public will act as the fifth judge, contributing a vote equal in weight to the selection committee members. To vote, visit:

Voting is open until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. Central.

The 2017 prize will be awarded in Alabama at The University of Alabama School of Law for the first time. The winner will be announced prior to the ceremony and will receive a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” signed by Harper Lee.

A distinguished panel of writers will select the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

They are: Deborah Johnson, winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and author of “The Secret of Magic”; Cassandra King, author of “The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life”; Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Radio’s book review series as well as host of “Bookmark,” which airs on Alabama Public Television; and Han Nolan, author of “Dancing on the Edge.”

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.