Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' Dies at Age 89
Following the unexpected (and somewhat controversial) release of a ‘Mockingbird’ sequel last July.
Harper Lee, who is best known for her celebrated 1961 novel that explores the racial problems of the American deep south, died earlier this Friday in Alabama. To Kill a Mockingbird is perhaps one of the key defining texts of 20th-century literature, selling over 40 million copies worldwide and leading to her award of both a Pulitzer prize and the presidential medal of freedom in 2007. Following the story of small-town lawyer Atticus Finch, Lee constructs a poignant narrative that outlines the torment of a black resident at the hands of a racist community. Although written over 50 years ago, the commentary on human relationships is still resoundingly relevant.
Despite the massive success that Mockingbird experienced almost immediately after its release, the late author had always avoided the public eye and had been adamant that she had no intention of producing further writings. However, this decades-long pledge was abruptly broken last July when Lee surprised audiences with an unexpected (and somewhat controversial) release of a Mockingbird sequel, Go Set a Watchman. The novel sees the return of the beloved Atticus Finch and is set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. With the passing of Harper Lee, we have undoubtedly lost a great literary mind but her brilliance will continue to live on in her unforgettable stories.
- The Guardian