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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sacred Heart Alumna Receives 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

 Deborah Johnson, Author and Sacred Heart alumna
of Duchesne Omaha

Congratulations to Deborah Johnson, 1966 alumna of Duchesne Academy in Omaha who has been awarded the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.  Johnson's recently released novel The Secret of Magic depicts an African American attorney working for the Legal Defense Fund with Thurgood Marshall in the 1940's.  

Authorized by Ms. Harper Lee as a means to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird and to honor the former Alabama law student and author, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered to annually award the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction in 2010.  The Prize has been awarded annually four times previously.  Narrowed down to three finalists, Deborah Johnson is the first woman, the first African-American and the first Sacred Heart alumna to receive the coveted Prize

"The Secret of Magic is exactly the kind of book the Harper Lee Prize is intended to honor; and the quality of legal literature we hope to encourage.  The language is rich, the storytelling is gripping, and the subject fits squarely in today's discussions about race, courage and the rule of law," said Allen Pusey, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal.  Pusey also served on the selection committee for the Harper Lee Prize. 

The award criteria is to publish a book-length fictional work that "best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society, and their power to effect change." The prize was awarded in Washington D.C. on September 3, 2015 in conjunction with the Library of Congress National Book Festival.  Johnson received a signed copy of the book To Kill a Mockingbird

Additional books authored by Deborah Johnson and under her pen name of Deborah Johns are listed under "Books by Sacred Heart Alum Authors" on this blog.

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