Harper Lee
(1926 - ) Nelle Harper Lee is an American novelist widely known for her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel deals with the irrationality of adult attitudes towards race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s, as seen through the eyes of two children. The novel was inspired by the racist attitudes she observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Though Lee published only this single book for half a century, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees, and declined to speak on each occasion. Lee assisted close friend Truman Capote in his research for the book In Cold Blood (1966). In February 2015, aged 88, and after a lifetime of maintaining that she would never publish another novel, Lee's lawyer released a statement confirming the publication of a second novel, Go Set a Watchman. Written in the mid 1950s, and serving as the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, it was released in July 2015.
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