Harper Lee

Nelle Harper Lee (April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016) was an American novelist widely known for To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. Immediately successful, it won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic of modern American literature. Though Lee had only published this single book, in 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature.[1] Additionally, Lee received numerous honorary degrees, though she declined to speak on those occasions. She was also known for assisting her close friend Truman Capote in his research for the book In Cold Blood (1966).[2] Capote was the basis for the character Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.[3]

The plot and characters of To Kill a Mockingbird are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as 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 depicted through the eyes of two children. The novel was inspired by racist attitudes in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

Another novel, Go Set a Watchman, was written in the mid-1950s and published in July 2015 as a "sequel", though it was later confirmed to be To Kill a Mockingbird's first draft.[4][5][6]

Harper Lee
Lee on November 5, 2007
Lee on November 5, 2007
BornNelle Harper Lee
April 28, 1926
Monroeville, Alabama, U.S.
DiedFebruary 19, 2016 (aged 89)
Monroeville, Alabama, U.S.
Pen nameHarper Lee
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity of Alabama
Period1960–2016
GenreLiterature, fiction
Literary movementSouthern Gothic
Notable worksTo Kill a Mockingbird
Go Set a Watchman

Signature
Harper Lee signature

Early life

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama [7] where she grew up as the youngest of four children of Frances Cunningham (Finch) and Amasa Coleman Lee.[8] Her parents chose her middle name, Harper, to honor pediatrician Dr. William W. Harper, of Selma, Alabama, who saved the life of her sister Louise.[9] Her first name, Nelle, was her grandmother's name spelled backwards and the name she used;[10] Harper Lee being primarily her pen name.[10] Lee's mother was a homemaker; her father, a former newspaper editor, and proprietor, practiced law and served in the Alabama State Legislature from 1926 to 1938. Before A.C. Lee became a title lawyer, he once defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a father, and son, were hanged.[11] Lee had three siblings: Alice Finch Lee (1911–2014),[12] Louise Lee Conner (1916–2009), and Edwin Lee (1920–1951).[13]

While enrolled at Monroe County High School, Lee developed an interest in English literature. After graduating from high school in 1944,[8] she attended the then all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery for a year, then transferred to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she studied law for several years and wrote for the university newspaper, but did not complete a degree.[8] In the summer of 1948, Lee attended a summer school in European civilization at Oxford University in England, financed by her father, who hoped – in vain, as it turned out – that the experience would make her more interested in her legal studies in Tuscaloosa.[14]

To Kill a Mockingbird

I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers, but at the same time I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.

— Harper Lee, quoted in Newquist, 1964[15]

In 1949, Lee moved to New York City and took a job as an airline reservation agent, writing fiction in her spare time.[8] Having written several long stories, Lee found an agent in November 1956. The following month, at Michael Brown's East 50th Street townhouse, she received a gift of a year's wages from friends with a note: "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas."[16]

Origin

In the spring of 1957, a 31-year-old Lee delivered the manuscript for Go Set a Watchman to her agent to send out to publishers, including the now-defunct J. B. Lippincott Company, which eventually bought it.[17] At Lippincott, the novel fell into the hands of Therese von Hohoff Torrey—known professionally as Tay Hohoff. Hohoff was impressed. "[T]he spark of the true writer flashed in every line", she would later recount in a corporate history of Lippincott.[17] But as Hohoff saw it, the manuscript was by no means fit for publication. It was, as she described it, "more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel".[17] During the next couple of years, she led Lee from one draft to the next until the book finally achieved its finished form and was retitled To Kill a Mockingbird.[17]

Like many unpublished authors, Lee was unsure of her talents. "I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told," Lee said in a statement in 2015 about the evolution from Watchman to Mockingbird.[17] Hohoff offers a more detailed characterization of the process in the Lippincott corporate history: "After a couple of false starts, the story-line, interplay of characters, and fall of emphasis grew clearer, and with each revision—there were many minor changes as the story grew in strength and in her own vision of it—the true stature of the novel became evident." (In 1978, Lippincott was acquired by Harper & Row, which became HarperCollins, publisher of Watchman.)[17]

There appeared to be a natural give and take between author and editor. "When she disagreed with a suggestion, we talked it out, sometimes for hours," Hohoff wrote. "And sometimes she came around to my way of thinking, sometimes I to hers, sometimes the discussion would open up an entirely new line of country."[17]

External video
After Words interview with Shields on Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, July 11, 2015, C-SPAN

As for her relationship with Lee, it's clear that Hohoff provided more than just editorial guidance. One winter night, as Charles J. Shields recounts in Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, Lee threw her manuscript out her window and into the snow, before calling Hohoff in tears. "Tay told her to march outside immediately and pick up the pages," Shields wrote.[17]

When the novel was finally ready, the author opted to use the name "Harper Lee", rather than risk having her first name Nelle be misidentified as "Nellie".[18]

Published July 11, 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was an immediate bestseller and won great critical acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. It remains a bestseller, with more than 30 million copies in print. In 1999, it was voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a poll by the Library Journal.[19]

Autobiographical details in the novel

Like Lee, the tomboy Scout of the novel is the daughter of a respected small-town Alabama attorney. Scout's friend, Dill, was inspired by Lee's childhood friend and neighbor, Truman Capote;[11] Lee, in turn, is the model for a character in Capote's first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, published in 1948. Although the plot of Lee's novel involves an unsuccessful legal defense similar to one undertaken by her attorney father, the 1931 landmark Scottsboro Boys interracial rape case may also have helped to shape Lee's social conscience.[20]

While Lee herself downplayed autobiographical parallels in the book, Truman Capote, mentioning the character Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, described details he considered autobiographical: "In my original version of Other Voices, Other Rooms I had that same man living in the house that used to leave things in the trees, and then I took that out. He was a real man, and he lived just down the road from us. We used to go and get those things out of the trees. Everything she wrote about it is absolutely true. But you see, I take the same thing and transfer it into some Gothic dream, done in an entirely different way."[21]

After To Kill a Mockingbird

Middle years

After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to assist him in researching what they thought would be an article on a small town's response to the murder of a farmer and his family. Capote expanded the material into his best-selling book, In Cold Blood, published in 1966.

From the time of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird until her death in 2016, Lee granted almost no requests for interviews or public appearances and, with the exception of a few short essays, published nothing further, until 2015. She did work on a follow-up novel—The Long Goodbye—but eventually filed it away unfinished.[22] During the mid-1980s, she began a factual book about an Alabama serial murderer, but also put it aside when she was not satisfied.[22] Her withdrawal from public life prompted unfounded speculation that new publications were in the works.

Lee said of the 1962 Academy Award–winning screenplay adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird by Horton Foote: "I think it is one of the best translations of a book to film ever made."[23] She became a friend of Gregory Peck, and after his death remained close to the actor's family; Peck's grandson, Harper Peck Voll, is named after her.[24]

Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, the father of the novel's narrator, Scout.

In January 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Lee to the National Council on the Arts.[25]

In 1966, Lee wrote a letter to the editor in response to the attempts of a Richmond, Virginia, area school board to ban To Kill a Mockingbird as "immoral literature":

Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board's activities, and what I've heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.

Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that To Kill a Mockingbird spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is 'immoral' has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublethink.

I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution to the Beadle Bumble Fund that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.[11]

James J. Kilpatrick, the editor of The Richmond News Leader, started the Beadle Bumble fund to pay fines for victims of what he termed "despots on the bench". He built the fund using contributions from readers and later used it to defend books as well as people. After the board in Richmond ordered schools to dispose of all copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, Kilpatrick wrote, "A more moral novel scarcely could be imagined." In the name of the Beadle Bumble fund, he then offered free copies to children who wrote in, and by the end of the first week, he had given away 81 copies.[26]

When Lee attended the 1983 Alabama History and Heritage Festival in Eufaula, Alabama, she presented the essay "Romance and High Adventure".[27]

Late in 1978, Lee spent some time in Alexander City, Alabama, researching a true-crime book called The Reverend.[28]

Lee lived for 40 years at 433 East 82nd Street in Manhattan.[29]

2005–2014

In March 2005, Lee arrived in Philadelphia – her first trip to the city since signing with publisher Lippincott in 1960 – to receive the inaugural ATTY Award for positive depictions of attorneys in the arts from the Spector Gadon & Rosen Foundation.[30] At the urging of Peck's widow, Veronique Peck, Lee traveled by train from Monroeville to Los Angeles in 2005 to accept the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award.[31] She also attended luncheons for students who have written essays based on her work, held annually at the University of Alabama.[23][32] On May 21, 2006, she accepted an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame, where graduating seniors saluted her with copies of To Kill a Mockingbird during the ceremony.[33]

On May 7, 2006, Lee wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey (published in O, The Oprah Magazine in July 2006) about her love of books as a child and her dedication to the written word: "Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books."[34]

While attending an August 20, 2007, ceremony inducting four members into the Alabama Academy of Honor, Lee declined an invitation to address the audience, saying: "Well, it's better to be silent than to be a fool."[35][36]

Harper Lee Medal
Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007

On November 5, 2007, George W. Bush presented Lee with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest civilian award in the United States and recognizes individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".[37][38]

In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Lee the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the United States government for "outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts".[39]

In a 2011 interview with an Australian newspaper, Rev. Dr. Thomas Lane Butts said Lee now lived in an assisted-living facility, wheelchair-bound, partially blind and deaf, and suffering from memory loss. Butts also shared that Lee told him why she never wrote again: "Two reasons: one, I wouldn't go through the pressure and publicity I went through with To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money. Second, I have said what I wanted to say, and I will not say it again."[40]

On May 3, 2013, Lee had filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court to regain the copyright to To Kill a Mockingbird, seeking unspecified damages from a son-in-law of her former literary agent and related entities. Lee claimed that the man "engaged in a scheme to dupe" her into assigning him the copyright on the book in 2007 when her hearing and eyesight were in decline, and she was residing in an assisted-living facility after having suffered a stroke.[41][42][43] In September 2013, attorneys for both sides announced a settlement of the lawsuit.[44]

In February 2014, Lee settled a lawsuit against the Monroe County Heritage Museum for an undisclosed amount. The suit alleged that the museum had used her name and the title To Kill a Mockingbird to promote itself and to sell souvenirs without her consent.[45][46] Lee's attorneys had filed a trademark application on August 19, 2013, to which the museum filed an opposition. This prompted Lee's attorney to file a lawsuit on October 15 that same year, "which takes issue the museum's website and gift shop, which it accuses of 'palming off its goods', including T-shirts, coffee mugs other various trinkets with Mockingbird brands."[47]

2015: Go Set a Watchman

According to Lee's lawyer Tonja Carter, following an initial meeting to appraise Lee's assets in 2011, she re-examined Lee's safe-deposit box in 2014 and found the manuscript for Go Set a Watchman. After contacting Lee and reading the manuscript, she passed it on to Lee's agent Andrew Nurnberg.[48][49]

On February 3, 2015, it was announced that HarperCollins would publish Go Set a Watchman,[50] which includes versions of many of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. According to a HarperCollins press release, it was originally thought that the Watchman manuscript was lost.[51] According to Nurnberg, Mockingbird was originally intended to be the first book of a trilogy: "They discussed publishing Mockingbird first, Watchman last, and a shorter connecting novel between the two."[52]

Jonathan Mahler's account in The New York Times of how Watchman was only ever really considered to be the first draft of Mockingbird makes this assertion seem unlikely.[17] Evidence where the same passages exist in both books, in many cases word for word, also further refutes this assertion.[53]

The book was controversially[4] published in July 2015 as a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, though it has been confirmed to be the first draft of the latter, with many narrative incongruities, repackaged and released as a completely separate work.[4] The book is set some 20 years after the time period depicted in Mockingbird, when Scout returns as an adult from New York to visit her father in Maycomb, Alabama.[54] It alludes to Scout's view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass ("watchman") of Maycomb,[55] and, according to the publisher, how she finds upon her return to Maycomb, that she "is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father's attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood."[56]

Not all reviewers have such a harsh opinion about the publication of the sequel book. Michiko Kakutani in Books of The Times article[57] finds that the book "makes for disturbing reading" when Scout is shocked to find... that her beloved father... has been affiliating with raving anti-integration, anti-black crazies, and the reader shares her horror and confusion... Though it lacks the lyricism... the portions of "Watchman" dealing with Scout's childhood and her adult romance with Henry capture the daily rhythms of life in a small town and are peppered with portraits of minor characters" and she mentions that "Students of writing will find 'Watchman' fascinating." While not fully praising the book she finds the publication of "Watchman" an important step stone in understanding Harper Lee's work.[57]

The publication of the novel (announced by her lawyer) raised concerns over why Lee, who for 55 years had maintained that she would never write another book, would suddenly choose to publish again. In February 2015, the State of Alabama, through its Human Resources Department, launched an investigation into whether Lee was competent enough to consent to the publishing of Go Set a Watchman.[10] The investigation found that the claims of coercion and elder abuse were unfounded,[58] and, according to Lee's lawyer, Lee was "happy as hell" with the publication.[59]

External video
Discussion with Marja Mills on The Mockingbird Next Door, July 23, 2014, C-SPAN

This characterization, however, was contested by many of Lee's friends.[4][60][61] Marja Mills, author of The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee, a friend and former neighbor, painted a very different picture.[62] In her piece for The Washington Post, "The Harper Lee I knew",[60] she quoted Alice—Lee's sister, whom she described as "gatekeeper, advisor, protector" for most of Lee's adult life—as saying, "Poor Nelle Harper can't see and can't hear and will sign anything put before her by anyone in whom she has confidence." She made note that Watchman was announced just two and a half months after Alice's death and that all correspondence to and from Lee went through her new attorney. She described Lee as "in a wheelchair in an assisted living center, nearly deaf and blind, with a uniformed guard posted at the door" and her visitors "restricted to those on an approved list."[60]

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera continued this argument.[4] He also took issue with how the book was promoted by the 'Murdoch Empire' as a "newly discovered" novel, attesting that the other people in the Sothebys meeting insisted that Lee's attorney was present in 2011, when Lee's former agent (who was subsequently fired) and the Sotheby's specialist found the manuscript. They said she knew full well that it was the same one submitted to Tay Hohoff in the 1950s that was reworked into Mockingbird, and that Lee's lawyer Tonja Carter had been sitting on the discovery, waiting for the moment when she, and not Alice, would be in charge of Harper Lee's affairs.[4]

Stephen Peck, son of actor Gregory Peck, also expressed concern. Responding to the question of how he thought his father would have reacted to the book, he said that he "would have appreciated the discussion the book has prompted, but would have been troubled by the decision to publish it."[61] Peck noted that his father considered Lee a dear friend. She gave him the pocket watch that had belonged to her father, on whom she modeled Atticus and that Gregory wore it the night he won an Oscar for the role.[61] Stephen, who is president and chief executive of the United States Veterans Initiative, went on to say "I think he would have felt very protective of her," and that his father would have counseled Lee not to publish Watchman because it could taint Mockingbird, one of the most beloved novels (in) American history.[61]

"Not to protect himself, but to protect her," Peck said, also noting that the decision to publish it was made not long after the death of Alice Lee, who had long handled Harper Lee's affairs. "You just don't know how that decision was made. ... If he had to, he would have flown down to talk to her. I have no doubt." Later in the article, which was posted in The Wall Street Journal, he said, "To me, it was an unedited draft. Do you want to put that early version out there or do you want to put it in the University of Alabama archives for scholars to look at?"[61]

Death

Lee died in her sleep on the morning of February 19, 2016, aged 89.[63][64] Prior to her death, she lived in Monroeville, Alabama.[65] On February 20, her funeral was held at First United Methodist Church in Monroeville.[66] The service was attended by close family and friends, and the eulogy was given by Wayne Flynt.[67]

After her death, The New York Times filed a lawsuit that argued that since Lee's will was filed in a probate court in Alabama that it should be part of the public record. They argued that wills filed in a probate court are considered part of the public record, and that Lee's should follow suit.[68]

Fictional portrayals

Harper Lee was portrayed by Catherine Keener in the film Capote (2005), by Sandra Bullock in the film Infamous (2006), and by Tracey Hoyt in the TV movie Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story (1998).[69] In the adaptation of Truman Capote's novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (1995), the character of Idabel Thompkins, who was inspired by Capote's memories of Lee as a child, was played by Aubrey Dollar.

Works

Books

Articles

  • "Love—In Other Words". Vogue. April 15, 1961. pp. 64–65.
  • "Christmas to Me". McCall's. December 1961.
  • "When Children Discover America". McCall's. August 1965.
  • "Romance and High Adventure". 1983. A paper presented in Eufaula, Alabama, and collected in the anthology Clearings in the Thicket (1985).
  • "Open letter to Oprah Winfrey". O: The Oprah Magazine. July 2006.

See also

References

  1. ^ "President Bush Honors Medal of Freedom Recipients" (Press release). The White House. November 5, 2007.
  2. ^ Harris, Paul (May 4, 2013). "Harper Lee sues agent over copyright to To Kill A Mockingbird". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Langer, Emily (February 19, 2016). "Harper Lee, elusive author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' is dead at 89". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Nocera, Joe (July 24, 2015). "The Harper Lee 'Go Set A Watchman' Fraud". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (February 3, 2015). "New Harper Lee novel on the way!". USA Today. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Alter, Alexandra (February 3, 2015). "Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' Is to Publish a Second Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Grimes, William (February 19, 2016). "Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' Dies at 89". New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Anderson, Nancy G. (March 19, 2007). "Nelle Harper Lee". The Encyclopedia of Alabama. Auburn University at Montgomery. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Mills, Marja (2014). The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee. Penguin. p. 181. ISBN 9780698163836.
  10. ^ a b c Kovaleski, Serge (March 11, 2015). "Harper Lee's Condition Debated by Friends, Fans and Now State of Alabama". New York Times. New York. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Shields, Charles J. (2006). Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. Henry Holt and Co. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Woo, Elaine (November 22, 2014). "Lawyer Alice Lee dies at 103; sister of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' author". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ "Louise L. Conner Obituary". The Gainesville Sun.
  14. ^ "Harper Lee's Oxford Summer," Department of Continuing Education, Oxford University: unsigned article is also undated, but written after publication of Go Set a Watchman; accessed 12 December 2016.
  15. ^ Newquist, Roy, ed. (1964). Counterpoint. Chicago: Rand McNally. ISBN 1-111-80499-0.
  16. ^ "Harper Lee". NNDB.com. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mahler, Jonathan (July 12, 2015). "The Invisible Hand Behind Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  18. ^ Maslin, Janet (June 8, 2006). "A Biography of Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  19. ^ "1960, To Kill a Mockingbird". PBS. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  20. ^ Johnson, Claudia Durst (1994). To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries. Twayne.
  21. ^ Nance, William (1970). The Worlds of Truman Capote. New York: Stein & Day. p. 223.
  22. ^ a b "A writer's story: The mockingbird mystery". The Independent. June 4, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  23. ^ a b Bellafante, Ginia (January 30, 2006). "Harper Lee, Gregarious for a Day". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  24. ^ Lacher, Irene (May 21, 2005). "Harper Lee raises her low profile for a friend". LA Times. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "26 to Be Advisory Board for National Endowment". The New York Times. January 28, 1966. Retrieved November 30, 2014. In a parallel development to- day, the President appointed Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "To Kill a Mockingbird." and Richard Diebenkorn, artist, to the National Council on the Arts.
  26. ^ "Newspapers: Spoofing the Despots". Time. January 21, 1966. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  27. ^ Monroe County Heritage Museums (1999). Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7385-0204-5. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  28. ^ Kemp, Kathy (November 10, 2010). "In search of Harper Lee". AL.com.
  29. ^ Oleksinski, Johnny. Find out if New York's greatest writers lived next door. The New York Post April 14, 2017, https://nypost.com/2017/04/14/find-out-if-new-yorks-greatest-writers-lived-next-door/ Accessed April 14, 2017
  30. ^ Reynolds, Jennifer (February 11, 2015). "Meeting 'Mockingbird' author Harper Lee". Delaware County Daily Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  31. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (August 19, 2012). "Veronique Peck dies at 80; Gregory Peck's widow was L.A. philanthropist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  32. ^ Lacher, Irene (May 21, 2005). "Harper Lee raises her low profile for a friend". Los Angeles Times.
  33. ^ "Commencement 2006". Notre Dame Magazine. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  34. ^ "Harper Lee Writes Rare Item for O Magazine". The Washington Post. Associated Press. June 26, 2006.
  35. ^ Paraphrase of a well-known American saying: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." The origin of the saying is uncertain; see Quote Investigator, 17 May 2010.
  36. ^ "Author has her say". The Boston Globe. August 21, 2007.
  37. ^ Martin, Virginia (November 5, 2007). "Harper Lee given Presidential Medal of Freedom". The Birmingham News.
  38. ^ "Author Lee receives top US honour". BBC News. November 6, 2007.
  39. ^ "Harper Lee". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  40. ^ Toohey, Paul (July 31, 2011). "Miss Nelle in Monroeville". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney, NSW, Australia. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  41. ^ Jeffrey, Don; Van Voris, Bob (May 3, 2013). "Harper Lee Sues Agent Over 'Mockingbird' Royalties". Bloomberg.
  42. ^ "'Mockingbird' author Lee sues over copyright in NY". AP. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  43. ^ "'To Kill a Mockingbird' author Lee sues her agent over copyright". Reuters. May 4, 2013.
  44. ^ Matthews, Cara (September 6, 2013). "Harper Lee settles 'To Kill a Mockingbird' suit". USA Today.
  45. ^ "Harper Lee settles legal action against Alabama museum". BBC News. February 20, 2014.
  46. ^ Gates, Verna Gates (November 2, 2013). "Town dependent on fame of Harper Lee book stung by museum lawsuit". Monroeville, Alabama. Reuters.
  47. ^ Lewis, Paul (November 1, 2013). "Lawsuit divides town which inspired classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird". The Guardian.
  48. ^ Carter, Tonja B. (July 12, 2015). "How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript". The Wall Street Journal.
  49. ^ Flood, Alison (July 13, 2015). "Harper Lee may have written a third novel, lawyer suggests". The Guardian.
  50. ^ "Recently Discovered Novel From Harper Lee, Author of To Kill a Mockingbird". Archived from the original on February 3, 2015.
  51. ^ Alter, Alexandra (February 3, 2015). "Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' Is to Publish a Second Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  52. ^ Alison Flood (February 5, 2015). "Harper Lee's 'lost' novel was intended to complete a trilogy, says agent". The Guardian.
  53. ^ Collins, Keith; Sonnad, Nikhil (July 14, 2015). "See where 'Go Set A Watchman' overlaps with 'To Kill A Mockingbird' word for word". Quartz. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  54. ^ "Recently Discovered Novel from Harper Lee, Author of To Kill a Mockingbird". HarperCollins Publishers. February 3, 2015. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015.
  55. ^ Garrison, Greg. "'Go Set a Watchman': What does Harper Lee's book title mean?". AL.com. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  56. ^ "Second Harper Lee Novel to Be Published in July". ABC News. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  57. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko (July 10, 2015). "Review: Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman' Gives Atticus Finch a Dark Side" – via NYTimes.com.
  58. ^ "Review rejects claims author Harper Lee was coerced into publishing second book 'Go Set A Watchman'". Radio Australia. April 4, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  59. ^ Tucker, Neely (February 16, 2015). "To shill a mockingbird: How a manuscript's discovery became Harper Lee's 'new' novel". Washington Post. Retrieved July 18, 2015. Lee, in a statement released by Carter, said she was "happy as hell" that it was finally being published. The statement also quoted Lee as saying that she recently showed the manuscript to some unnamed friends, who verified its merit, thus convincing her to reverse her long-held decision about not publishing. In the statement, she said that she was young when she wrote it, so when an editor told her to reshape it, "I did as I was told."
  60. ^ a b c Mills, Marja (July 20, 2015). "The Harper Lee I Knew". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  61. ^ a b c d e Maloney, Jennifer (July 17, 2015). "What Would Gregory Peck Think Of 'Go Set A Watchman'? His Son Weights In". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  62. ^ Mills, Marja. "The Mockingbird Next Door". Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  63. ^ "Harper Lee, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' author, dead at 89". CNN. February 19, 2016.
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  65. ^ "US author Harper Lee dies aged 89". BBC News. February 19, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  66. ^ "Harper Lee: loved ones hold private funeral without pomp or fanfare". The Guardian. February 21, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  67. ^ "Harper Lee: Private funeral service held in author's Alabama hometown". ABC News. February 21, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  68. ^ F. Kovaleski, Serge; Alter, Alexandra. "Harper Lee's Will, Unsealed, Only Adds More Mystery to Her Life". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 14. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  69. ^ "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story". The New York Times. 1998.

External links

1906 Los Angeles mayoral election

The 1906 election for Mayor of Los Angeles took place on December 4, 1906. Arthur Cyprian Harper was elected.

Amasa Coleman Lee

Amasa Coleman Lee (July 19, 1880 – April 15, 1962) was an American politician and lawyer.

Atticus Finch

Atticus Finch is a fictional character in Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird. A preliminary version of the character also appears in the novel Go Set a Watchman, written in the mid 1950s but not published until 2015. Atticus is a lawyer and resident of the fictional Maycomb County, Alabama, and the father of Jeremy "Jem" Finch and Jean Louise "Scout" Finch. Lee based the character on her own father, Amasa Coleman Lee, an Alabama lawyer, who, like Atticus, represented black defendants in a highly publicized criminal trial. Book Magazine's list of The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900 names Finch as the seventh best fictional character of 20th-century literature. In 2003 the American Film Institute voted Atticus Finch, as portrayed in an Academy Award-winning performance by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film adaptation, as the greatest hero of all American cinema. In the 2018 Broadway stage play adapted by Aaron Sorkin, Finch is portrayed by Jeff Daniels.

Catherine Keener

Catherine Ann Keener (born March 23, 1959) is an American actress. She has been twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in Being John Malkovich (1999) and Harper Lee in Capote (2005).

Keener also appeared in the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008), and Get Out (2017), which were all well received by critics. Keener is the muse of director Nicole Holofcener, having appeared in each of Holofcener's first five films. She also appeared in each of director Tom DiCillo's first four films, and three films directed by Spike Jonze.

Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman is a novel by Harper Lee published on July 14, 2015 by HarperCollins, United States and William Heinemann, United Kingdom. Although written before her first and only other published novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning To Kill a Mockingbird—and initially promoted by its publisher as a sequel—it is now accepted as being a first draft of the famous novel, with many passages being used again in To Kill a Mockingbird.The title comes from Isaiah 21:6: "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth." It alludes to Jean Louise Finch's view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass ("watchman") of Maycomb, and has a theme of disillusionment, as she discovers the extent of the bigotry in her home community.

The book's unexpected and controversial discovery, decades after it was written, in light of the status of the author's only other book as an American classic, caused its publication to be highly anticipated. Amazon stated that it was their "most pre-ordered book" since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, and stores arranged all-night openings beginning at midnight to cope with expected demand.Go Set a Watchman tackles the racial tensions brewing in the South in the 1950s and delves into the complex relationship between father and daughter. It includes treatments of many of the characters who appear in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Harper (publisher)

Harper is an American publishing house, currently the flagship imprint of global publisher HarperCollins.

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood is a non-fiction novel by American author Truman Capote, first published in 1966; it details the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas.

When Capote learned of the quadruple murder, before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested six weeks after the murders and later executed by the state of Kansas. Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. When finally published, In Cold Blood was an instant success, and today is the second-biggest-selling true crime book in publishing history, behind Vincent Bugliosi's 1974 book Helter Skelter about the Charles Manson murders.Some critics consider Capote's work the original non-fiction novel, though other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in Operación Masacre (1957). In Cold Blood has been lauded for its eloquent prose, extensive detail, and simultaneous triple narrative, which describes the lives of the murderers, the victims, and other members of the rural community in alternating sequences. The psychologies and backgrounds of Hickock and Smith are given special attention, as well as the complex relationship that existed between them during and after the murders. In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work in the true crime genre, though Capote was disappointed that the book failed to win the Pulitzer Prize. Parts of the book, including important details, differ from the real events.

James Grippando

James Grippando is an American novelist and lawyer best known as the 2017 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

Manistee, Alabama

Manistee is an unincorporated community in Monroe County, Alabama, United States. Manistee was a logging town, and was home to the Manistee Mill Company, Bear Creek Mill Company and Runyan-Burgoyne Lumber Company. The Manistee Mill Company built a spur track to connect the saw mills of Manistee with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in Repton and named it the Manistee & Repton Railway. The railway began operations in 1907 and remained in use until the 1970s, operating over 45 miles of track. Amasa Coleman Lee, father of Harper Lee, served as financial manager for a Monroeville law firm's interests in the Manistee & Repton Railway. A post office was operated in Manistee from 1892 to 1912.

Monroe County, Alabama

Monroe County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,068. Its county seat is Monroeville. Its name is in honor of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. It is a dry county, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or prohibited, but Frisco City and Monroeville are wet cities.

In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama." It is the birthplace of notable writer Harper Lee and served as the childhood home for Truman Capote, her lifelong friend and a fellow writer. Lee lived here most of her life, and the enduring popularity of her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), has attracted tourists to the city and area.

Monroeville, Alabama

Monroeville is a city in Monroe County, Alabama, United States, the county seat of Monroe County. At the 2010 census its population was 6,519.It is known as the hometown of two prominent writers of the post-World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The lasting fame of To Kill a Mockingbird became a tourist draw for the town. In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama."

Paul Goldstein (law professor)

Paul Goldstein (born January 14, 1943) is a law professor at Stanford Law School.

A globally recognized expert on intellectual property law, Goldstein is the author of an influential four-volume treatise on U.S. copyright law and a five-volume treatise on international copyright law, as well as leading casebooks on intellectual property and international intellectual property. He has authored nine books including five novels, Errors and Omissions, A Patent Lie, Secret Justice, Legal Asylum and Havana Requiem, which won the 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Some of his other works include Copyright’s Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox, a widely acclaimed book on the history and future of copyright, and Intellectual Property: The Tough New Realities That Could Make or Break Your Business.

Goldstein has been regularly included in Best Lawyers in America. He has served as chairman of the United States Office of Technology Assessment Advisory Panel on Intellectual Property Rights in an Age of Electronics and Information, has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright, and Competition Law, and was a founding faculty member of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center. In addition, before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1975, he was a professor of law at the University at Buffalo Law School.

Tay Hohoff

Therese von Hohoff Torrey ("Tay Hohoff") (July 3, 1898 — January 5, 1974) was an American literary editor with the publishing firm J. B. Lippincott & Co.. Strong-willed and forceful, she worked closely with author Harper Lee over the course of nearly three years to give final shape to her classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird. After the commercial and literary success of the novel, she shielded Harper Lee from the intense pressure to write another one. She retired from a senior editorial position at the firm in 1973 and died the following year.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. Instantly successful, widely read in high schools and middle schools in the United States, it has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer Prize. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. Historian, J. Crespino explains, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its main character, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."As a Southern Gothic and Bildungsroman novel, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in the United States with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets.

Reaction to the novel varied widely upon publication. Despite the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education, literary analysis of it is sparse. Author Mary McDonough Murphy, who collected individual impressions of To Kill a Mockingbird by several authors and public figures, calls the book "an astonishing phenomenon". In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die". It was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown.

To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only published book until Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 14, 2015. Lee continued to respond to her work's impact until her death in February 2016, although she had refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.

To Kill a Mockingbird (2018 play)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 2018 play based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Harper Lee, adapted for stage by Aaron Sorkin. It opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018.

To Kill a Mockingbird (film)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.

The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and was a box-office success, earning more than six times its budget. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture.

In 1995, the film was listed in the National Film Registry. In 2003, the American Film Institute named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. In 2007, the film ranked twenty-fifth on the AFI's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time. In 2005, the British Film Institute included it in their list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

The film was restored and released on Blu-ray and DVD in 2012, as part of the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures.

To Kill a Mockingbird in popular culture

Since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, there have been many references and allusions to it in popular culture. The book has been internationally popular for more than a half century, selling more than 30 million copies in 40 languages. It currently (2013) sells 750,000 copies a year and is widely read in schools in America and abroad.

Harper Lee and her publisher did not expect To Kill a Mockingbird to be such a huge success. Since it was first published in 1960, it has sold close to one million copies a year and has been the second-best-selling backlist title in the United States. Whether they like the book or not, readers can remember when and where they were the first time they opened the book. Because of this, Mockingbird has become a pillar for students around the country and symbol of justice and the reminiscence of childhood. To Kill a Mockingbird is not solely about the cultural legal practices of Atticus Finch, but about the fatherly virtues he held towards his children and the way Scout viewed him as a father.

Parties were held across the United States for the 50th anniversary of publication in 2010.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, famous authors and celebrities as well as people close to the book's author, Harper Lee, shared their experiences with To Kill a Mockingbird in the book Scout, Atticus, & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird. The book features interviews with Mary Badham, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, Anna Quindlen, Richard Russo, as well as Harper Lee's sister, Alice Finch Lee.

The 2010 documentary film Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on the background of the book and the film as well as their impact on readers and viewers.

Truman Capote

Truman Garcia Capote (; born Truman Streckfus Persons, September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) was an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. Several of his short stories, novels, and plays have been praised as literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel". At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from his work.

Capote rose above a childhood troubled by divorce, a long absence from his mother, and multiple migrations. He had discovered his calling as a writer by the age of 8, and for the rest of his childhood he honed his writing ability. Capote began his professional career writing short stories. The critical success of one story, "Miriam" (1945), attracted the attention of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf, and resulted in a contract to write the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). Capote earned the most fame with In Cold Blood, a journalistic work about the murder of a Kansas farm family in their home. Capote spent four years writing the book aided by his lifelong friend Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird (1960).A milestone in popular culture, In Cold Blood was the peak of Capote's literary career. In the 1970s, he maintained his celebrity status by appearing on television talk shows.

Watchman

Watchman or Watchmen may refer to:

Watchman (law enforcement), a member of a group who provided law enforcement

Security guard or watchman, a person who watches over and protects property, assets, or people

a sailor responsible for watchkeeping aboard ship

Watchmen, a 1986 comic book limited series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Watchmen (film), the 2009 film adaptation of the comic book

Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, a video game prequel to the film

Watchmen: Motion Comic, a TV miniseries adaptation that aired in 2008.

Watchmen (TV series), an upcoming TV series adaptation of the comic book and feature film

The Watchmen (band), a Canadian rock band

Go Set a Watchman, the second novel by author Harper Lee

Watchman (novel), a 1988 thriller novel by Ian Rankin

Sony Watchman, a line of portable television devices produced by Sony

Watchman Island, a small sandstone island in the Waitemata Harbour of Auckland, New Zealand

Watchman camera, a system of cameras for controlling traffic and deterring speeding in the United Kingdom

Watchman device, a type of left atrial appendage occlusion system to prevent blood clot formation in certain heart rhythm disturbances

HMS Watchman (D26), a destroyer of the British Royal Navy launched in 1917 and sold in 1945 for scrapping

Watchman (mascot), a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, mascot of the Staffordshire and Mercian Regiments

Watchman (film), a 2019 Tamil thriller film

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
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