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To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee. Mysterious old lady from the south or brilliant writer incognito? Born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28 th , 1926 in Alabama. Mother’s maiden name was Finch. Father was a lawyer, just like Atticus Finch. More on the old lady….

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harper lee
Harper Lee
  • Mysterious old lady from the south or brilliant writer incognito?
  • Born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28th, 1926 in Alabama.
  • Mother’s maiden name was Finch.
  • Father was a lawyer, just like Atticus Finch.

More on the old lady…

She called herself a tomboy and admitted that they grew up with little money.

She would often create characters such as Scout and Jem.

Lee went to law school for several years, but eventually found passion in writing.

even more on the old lady
Even more on the old lady…
  • She worked with Truman Capote, lifetime friend, on the 1959 novel, In Cold Blood.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and was an immediate best-seller.
  • She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1960.
  • Voted best novel of the century (in 1999) by the Library Journal. The book has acquired many other literary merits as well. On November 5, 2007, Lee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
other interesting facts
Other Interesting Facts…
  • Truman Capote was the inspiration for the character of Dill, Jem and Scout’s friend. His parents were also divorced and as a child he went to live with relatives.
  • Lee had a close friendship with Gregory Peck who starred in the movie version of the book. His grandson, Harper Peck Voll, is named for her.
a bit mysterious
A bit mysterious…
  • Lee has been very reclusive and has participated in few interviews since the success of the book.
  • Many people have waited for a second book from Lee, but she hasn’t published one since.
an interview with someone who had interviewed lee
An interview with someone who had interviewed Lee:
  • Q: What about Harper Lee did you learn in your research that most surprised you, if anything?
  • A: Miss Lee has been remarkably consistent her entire life: she's a nonconformist. I was surprised that the roughhousing girl of the 1930s was also the author of such a gentle book, and that she remained a pretty tough cookie into middle age and beyond. Friends know her as warm, but she also doesn't care about what anyone thinks of her.
in popular culture
In Popular Culture:
  • In a Simpsons episode titled “Crossover Crisis II,” a character asks how Atticus Finch is succeeding in a task to which Homer replies “It’s harder than killing a mockingbird!”
  • In the 2006 film, Failure to Launch (click here), there is a sub-plot about killing a mockingbird.
  • Demi Moore and Bruce Willis have a daughter named Scout, reportedly after the character.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal has two dogs named Atticus and Boo Radley (Click here).
  • There is a British band called the Boo Radleys.
more pop culture
More Pop. Culture
  • In 2001, a few Blink-182 band members created a clothing line called Atticus Clothing. The female counterpart is called Scout and the logo is a dead bird.
  • In the 2002 film, Mr. Deeds, Wynona Ryder’s character refers to Boo Radley as a cover-up for his past.
  • (Harper Lee)
  • (pop culture facts)