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.