Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ has died at the age of 89.

The Author, who wrote one of America’s most enduring literary classics, from the point of a child’s view of right and wrong, was also famously known for her reclusiveness and the decision to wait half a century to publish a second book with the original characters speaking from a very different viewpoint.

Image Source: Getty Images
Image Source: Getty Images

Media organisation, Reuters, is reporting the death of Ms Lee, after the city clerk of her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama confirmed that the famous author had indeed died in her sleep.

Ms Lee an intensively shy woman who lived quietly and privately, always turning down interview requests from the media.  She alternated between living in her New York apartment and sharing a home with her older sister, Lawyer Alice Lee in Monroeville.

Image Source: Getty Images
Image Source: Getty Images

After suffering a stroke and enduring failing vision and hearing, she spent her final years in an assisted-living facility in Monroeville.

For decades it was thought Lee would never follow up To Kill a Mockingbird, when another unpublished book manuscript was discovered and published in July 2015.  “Go Set A Watchman” was a surprising literary event that took the world’s book readers and booksellers by storm.

The Book inspired the famous movie of the same title.  Image Source: Getty Images.
The Book inspired the famous movie of the same title. Image Source: Getty Images.

The newly published book, centres on the beloved characters of Ms Lee’s first published work, “To Kill A Mockingbird” – but from a very different point of view.

In “To Kill A Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch was the adored father of the young narrator Scout and a lawyer who nobly but unsuccessfully defended a black man unjustly accused of raping a white woman.

But surprisingly, in “Go Set A Watchman”, an older Atticus has racial a views that left the grown-up Scout greatly disillusioned.

Ms Lee reportedly had written “Go Set A Watchman” first, but at the suggestion of an editor, re-wrote the story from a child’s point of view set in the 1930s.

Ms Lee’s literary output was discussed frequently over the years after her original classic was published.  She herself acknowledged she could not top the Pulitzer Prize-winning Mockingbird but friends said she had worked for years on at least two other books before abandoning them.

Reverend Thomas Lane Butts, a family friend, said in an interview that Ms Lee had said she did not publish more books because she did not want to endure the pressure and publicity of another publication.


Image source: Getty Images

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  • very sad. makes me want to go and re-read that! yeah this lady was very talented


  • I studied this book at school. Ms Lee was certainly a talented writer. I had no idea there was a second book released last year.


  • So sad!! I definetly need to buy a copy and read it.


  • I’ve been thinking about this news since I woke up yesterday. I first read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was l 12. I was an avid reader from a young age and had read many of the “classics” by that age but there is no other book that has had as lasting an effect on me than this one. The message of kindness and courage transcends generations. I would like to thank Harper Lee for igniting my curiosity and encouraging me to look at society in different way. RIP.


  • a classic which will be read for many years to come.


  • So sad. She did live to a fantastic age


  • Read To Kill A Mockingbird while I was in school and loved it. Sorry to hear her passing But at 89 that’s a good innings.


  • How sad that the scale of that initial success prevented us seeing more of her mature work.


  • I still haven’t read this, how shameful! Sad to hear of her passing, but what an age to live to.


  • So sad. She had such amazing talent


  • Such a great loss – her famous and enduring book will always mean so much to so many.


  • Harper Lee was a very talented writer. I remember reading that as one of our compulsory books at high school. We had to write reviews on part of it as part of our English studies.


  • Oh! I hadn’t read this news yet. So sad! I’m glad she could publish her second book last year. Just in time!


  • She left this world at a good age and with a lot of respect as a writer.


  • I love the book and the movie – rest in peace

    • Both brilliant – an amazing book and wonderful movie adaption.


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