You may have read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ in school, but what do you know about its legendary author, Harper Lee? Sadly, the writer passed away at the age of 89 on Feb. 19, but here are five facts to give you insight into her wonderful life.
Harper Lee will go down in history for her incredible book To Kill A Mockingbird, but there’s more to her than just that. In honor of the great author, who sadly died on Feb. 19, we’re rounding up everything you need to know about her. Check it out here!
1. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winner
To Kill A Mockingbird was published in July 1960 and quickly became a critically-acclaimed novel, as it still is to this day. Harper won the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction in 1961, and today, the book continues to be a bestseller.
2. She only published TWO books
Can you believe it!? Despite the success of To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper was simply never inspired to write something new! In 2015, though, her book To Kill A Watchman was published and was said to be a sequel to the original book that made her famous. This was criticized, though, because a draft of Watchman was actually written first, so when it became a sequel, there was a lot of plot discontinuity.
3. But she played a big part in the work of another story
Shortly after she finished writing To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper joined her friend, Truman Capote, in Kansas to help him research what was supposed to be an article about the murder of a farmer and his family in a small town. Truman was able to expand the information, though, and it turned into a best-seller for him, In Cold Blood, which was published in 1966.
4. ‘Mockingbird’ is slightly autobiographical
Scout, the main character in To Kill A Mockingbird, is loosely based off Harper herself, while there are obvious parallels between Scout’s best friend, Dill, and Truman. Truman has also confirmed that the character Boo Radley is a version of a man who lived down the road from the pair when they were growing up.
5. She was a very private person
After the success of Mockingbird, Harper refused pretty much all requests for interviews and public appearances. Although she’s accepted some major awards, like the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she declined to speak during the numerous ceremonies where she was awarded honorary degrees.
HollywoodLifers, what are you most surprised to learn about Harper Lee?