IntroductionShe has published only one book, but oh, what a masterpiece it is! Born in Monroeville, Alabama, in 1926, Nelle Harper Lee still lives there with her sister, and she spends time in New York City as well. Although she never married, she is not reclusive. Known to be pleasant and witty, she granted a few interviews when To Kill a Mockingbird appeared in 1960, but since then she has fought fiercely to stay out of the public eye. There has been much speculation about her inaccessibility and why she has completed only one book. Perhaps it is because Harper Lee—through the spirited tomboy Scout and the quietly private Boo Radley—has already revealed everything about herself that we need to know.
- A rough-and-tumble child, Harper Lee frequently defended her less rambunctious friend Truman Capote in the schoolyard. She later did the research for his acclaimed novel In Cold Blood.
- Harper Lee’s mother was Frances Cunningham Finch. Lee uses all three of her mother’s names for characters in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Lee received the 1961 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for To Kill a Mockingbird.
- To Kill a Mockingbird was made into a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck in 1962. Peck won an Oscar for his performance in the film.
- To Kill a Mockingbird was banned by Virginia’s Hanover County School Board in 1966 because it deals with the subject of rape. Harper Lee defended her book as espousing a Christian ethic and an honorable code of conduct, and she scathingly questioned whether the school board members, in grossly misjudging her novel’s content, were illiterate.
All Resources by Category
- Critical Survey of Long Fiction
- To Kill a Mockingbird - Contemporary Literary Criticism
- To Kill a Mockingbird - Identities and Issues in Literature
- To Kill a Mockingbird - Literary Characters
- To Kill a Mockingbird Censorship
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