Who was Harper Lee and why is she important?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, and passed away on February 19, 2016. Lee was the author of two books—To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). Both books are centered on the fictional Finch family but contain many autobiographical details from Lee's life. ...

See
This Answer Now

Start your subscription to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your Subscription

Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, and passed away on February 19, 2016. Lee was the author of two books—To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). Both books are centered on the fictional Finch family but contain many autobiographical details from Lee's life. To Kill a Mockingbird almost instantly became a bestseller, and the novel retains that popularity today. To Kill a Mockingbird has been highly influential in American literature and today is widely considered to be an American classic. Lee's book was and is so influential because it captured a very real subject matter few people wanted to discuss: racial injustice in the Jim Crow South. The novel is all the more impressive because its narrator is an honest but naive child. 

To Kill a Mockingbird has become a staple of the American high school curriculum because it is an exemplary example of the literary and social heritage of the United States.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team