Updated on 14 June 2013

Group Photograph
Ms Nelle Harper Lee Harper Lee was the youngest of four children of Frances Cunningham Finch Lee and Amasa Coleman Lee, a lawyer and state senator from Alabama and a descendant of the Southern General Robert E. Lee. She attended Huntingdon College (1944-1945), studied law at the University of Alabama (1945-1949) and spent a year at Oxford in England. Before her career as a writer, she worked during the 50's for some time at the counter of Eastern Airlines and BOAC in New York. She eventually left this job in order to completely devote herself to writing.

In 1957 Harper Lee submitted a manuscript of short stories about life in the southern U.S. to the publishing house JB Lippincott & Co. There, working with her editor Tay Hohoff, she turned these into the novel To Kill A Mockingbird over the next two and a half years.

Her first and only book, To Kill a Mockingbird was released in 1960 and the following year it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. By 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird was already being made into a movie with Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch, for which he won an Oscar. The film received three Oscars in total.

Interesting Links

Ontario Human
Rights Commission

Nelle Harper Lee Homepage

BBC GSCE English Lit

Segregation Law in 1927

The History of Blackamericans

To Kill A Mockingbird - Background
This immediate best seller and winner of great critical acclaim, was published on July 11th 1960. 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. The novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a story about innocence, knowledge, prejudice and courage. In the beginning the main character, Scout, starts out to be a very immature child not knowing the prejudice times around her, as the story goes on she gains knowledge of these times by fellow kids around her accusing her dad of being a “negra lover" which then, it was an insult.
Her dad was being courageous of a black man being falsely accused of raping a white girl. Her dad, Atticus, is a criminal defense attorney only doing his job and not discriminating against this man. The line in the book "Shoot, all the blue jays you want, but remember its a sin to kill mockingbird" is referring to the black man in the story, Tom. He symbolizes a mockingbird because all mockingbirds do is sing for our enjoyment and stay out of harms way, so if you kill them its a sin.

Tom is the mockingbird in the story, trying to stay out of harms way but ends up guilty and sent to jail, where he soon tried to escape but ends up being killed by a gunshot.

[click to download] - Taken from http://tecfaetu.unige.ch/etu-maltt/R2D2/dacostj7/stic-2/ex14/epub/ex14.pdf
In June 1966, Lee was one of two persons named by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the National Council on the Arts.
Harper Lee has been known to move between her apartment in New York and her sister’s home in Monroeville. She has accepted honorary degrees but has declined to present speeches.

In March 2005, she went to Philadelphia, her first trip to the city, to receive the inaugural ATTY Award. She later travelled to Los Angeles to accept the Los Angeles Public Library Literacy Award.

On May 21, 2006, she accepted an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame.


People who likes to read
To Kill A Mockingbird
Also likes to read:


The Color Purple     All the King's
By Alice Walker       Men by
                                  Robert Penn


One flew over         The Town        
the cukkoo's nest    by Conrad
by Ken Kesey         Richter

Related Book - Parallel

To Kill a Mockingbird is related in Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry! The most common relation between the two novels is that they are both set in the time when white people were prejudice towards black people.

The story revolves around the Logan family. They were African-American Farmers living in Mississippi during slavery in the 1930's. The story deflects the trial and tribulations of racism. It spoke about how they survived and were able to save the families land from being taken back.

Review taken from: http://9thbookrecommendations.wikispaces.com/Roll+of+Thunder,+Hear+My+Cry+

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