World renowned author Harper Lee passed away on Feb. 19, 2016 at the age of 89 years old.
Harper Lee was known for her extremely famous novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” which has won a Pulitzer-Prize along with many other awards. The novel takes place in a small town in Alabama and is about childhood, coming of age, mental illness, and racial prejudice in the legal system of the South. The main character of the story, a young girl named Scout, watches her father try to defend an innocent black man who was falsely accused of rape. She also learns that one shouldn’t be so quick to judge, as often times those judgements are wrong. In the narration of the story, Harper Lee writes “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”
She also wrote the prequel “Go Set a Watchman” but only published it recently. The novel explores the past of the characters in “To Kill A Mockingbird” and also the darker problems racism caused in the South.
It was obvious where she got some of her inspiration. Harper Lee grew up in a small town in Alabama called Monroeville. Her father was a retired editor, and worked as a lawyer most of his life. She had two sisters and a brother. She went to school at Huntingdon College, a women’s college, before transferring to the University of Alabama. While at the university, she contributed to the school’s newspaper the “Rammer Jammer” and eventually became its editor.
She lived a private life and tried to avoid the attention that often followed famous celebrities such as herself. Instead, she focused on giving back to people, and made many generous contributions to charities.
After her death, the Ol’ Curiosities Book Shoppe, located in her home town, hosted a candlelight vigil on Feb. 28th to honor her passing. “Ms. Lee impacted millions of lives through her books, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ and the recently released ‘Go Set A Watchman.’ Her death is one that was truly felt around the world. She will be greatly missed,” they announced on a blog entry, available here: http://ocbookshoppe.com/blog/harper-lee-memorial/
If you’re interested in learning more about Harper Lee, check out her biography at http://www.biography.com/people/harper-lee-9377021.