Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel Go Set a Watchman, died today at the age of 89.
A native of Monroeville, Alabama, Lee was 34 when To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. The success of the novel, and its immediate connection to the current political and cultural climates, led quickly to the production of a film adaptation starring Gregory Peck. The movie was released in 1962, and received 3 Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck and Best Screenplay Adaptation. The book was also the recipient of a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961.
In 1964, Lee declined to give any more interviews, citing her exhaustion with answering the same questions again and again. She also wrote no more novels. When it was announced that a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird would be published in 2015, questions were raised about its authenticity, and Lee’s actual intentions.
Harper Lee was one of the 20th century’s most renowned and celebrated authors. To read her novels, watch the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, or learn more about her, check out one of the items below.