Harper Lee. She died peacefully this morning at the age of 89.
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Huntingdon College and studied law at the University of Alabama. She is the author of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman. Ms. Lee received numerous literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Michael Morrison, President and Publisher of HarperCollins US General Books Group and Canada says, "The world knows Harper Lee was a brilliant writer but what many don't know is that she was an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility and kindness. She lived her life the way she wanted to – in private – surrounded by books and the people who loved her. I will always cherish the time I spent with her."Her agent, Andrew Nurnberg says, "Knowing Nelle these past few years has been not just an utter delight but an extraordinary privilege. When I saw her just six weeks ago, she was full of life, her mind and mischievous wit as sharp as ever. She was quoting Thomas More and setting me straight on Tudor history. We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity."
5 things 'To Kill a Mockingbird' got right 50 years ago that still ring true right now.LESSON #1. The only way to understand the other side is to GO to the other side — and take a walk!
This is a lesson that Atticus teaches Scout when she's not so good at getting along with others. Solid advice.
LESSON #2. You're living in this world right here and right now. Make *that* better.
Another Atticus classic. He's a little disillusioned with the way some of his fellow townspeople are behaving.
LESSSON #3. The simplest gesture can be the hugest gift.
There's a part in the story when it seems like it might be dangerous for the main character, Atticus Finch, to safely live in his own town. Instead of giving up hope on the entire town, they decide to just trust the town to do right and not hurt Atticus.
LESSON #4: Privilege is real. From race to baking cakes. Sometimes you're born into it, and sometimes you're born with it.
This is just a tiny part of Atticus's epic closing speech in the trial of Tom Robinson. He speaks at great length about what justice we expect in America and the kind of justice we get if we don't acknowledge some human imperfections and biases. It's so relevant.
LESSON #5. Sometimes the truth can't save you.
It's not a quote but an unfolding of the story that really drives this home.