The Passing of a Literary Icon

Kathryn O'Sullivan, Staff Writer

Harper Lee was an amazing American author who sadly passed away on February 19th, 2016 at the age of 68. Lee was best known for her award winning book To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lee was born in April, 1926 in Alabama, and she attended college at the University of Alabama.  She later moved to New York where in 1949, she submitted To Kill a Mockingbird to a publishing company, which asked her to rewrite the book. She then submitted it to another publishing company and on July 11, 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was published by Lippincott publishing company. She won a Pulitzer Prize for the novel the following year. Even though the book was published decades ago, it is still studied by high school students everywhere. Many people remember reading the novel about a little girl, her brother, and her lawyer father. and it has become a novel people remember will remember forever.

The story seems to be a reflection of Lee’s own childhood, and it comments on controversial social issues at the time like racism and stereotypes.

Unfortunately, after this single book’s publication, Lee became known for her lack of writing. She became a private celebrity until 2015 when her second full length book—Go Set a Watchman—was published. In the past, Lee had said she would never write another book, so this novel sparked intense controversy. People began to think she was either forced to publish it, or it was published without her consent. Nonetheless, that book was another success.

Harper Lee was an exceptional American author who influenced countless people. She wrote two wonderful novels, and was a great woman. She will truly be missed.