Harper Lee

Feb. 16, 2016, marked the end of an era for many literature fans when the desolate news was announced that Nelle Lee Harper, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird, had passed away. Harper takes an interesting approach when addressing societal issues in her novel by looking through Scout Finch’s eyes, a very perceptive six-year-old girl living in small town Maycomb, Alabama. Ironically, she had first tried to publish Go Set A Watchman, the sequel to Mockingbird, featuring 26-year old Scout, all grown up and taking a visit back to her hometown. Lee was told it wasn’t quite ready to become a novel yet. However, years later when she pitched the story of Scout’s childhood, publishers ate it up. Harper found inspiration for her novels from her own life experiences, growing up as a tomboy with her brothers in Alabama. Readers get to watch Scout grow up during the Great Depression while getting wrapped up in a court case where her father is the defendant for Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. The novel is filled to the brim with important life lessons, the struggle of overcoming stereotypes and literary gems. Harper lived a long life and died on the morning of Feb. 16, from a stroke at the age of 69. However, her memory will continue to live on through her dedicated readers.

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