Remembering Harper Lee, 1926-2016

Post by Jackie Adams

Remembering Harper Lee

Harper Lee wrote one of the most acclaimed books in world literature: To Kill a Mockingbird.

She was born Nelle Harper Lee in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama.

Harper wrote about what she knew – the Deep South of America, The Bible Belt, the way of life there, the racial prejudice, and the effects made worse by class, hypocrisy, and violence.

To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the 1930’s Deep South. It is the story of tomboy Scout, real name Jean Louise Finch, and the events that unfold when her father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer, defends a young black man who is accused of raping a young white girl. The story also deals with the court legal battle and the hostile reaction of people to a man innocent of any crime. It’s said that Harper Lee loosely based her character Atticus on her father, Amasa Coleman Lee, who was a lawyer.

The book influenced civil rights in America, and is relevant today, many years after publication.

A film version of the book was released in 1962, which starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

In 2015, a second book Go Set a Watchman was found, when it was thought she had written only one book.

Harper Lee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird in 1961. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Harper Lee died in February 2016, almost a recluse and publicity shy. The world lost one of the greatest writers – Harper Lee.

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