One of Literature’s Greatest, Harper Lee, Passes On


The popular novelist Nelle Harper Lee, or better known as Harper Lee, died peacefully in her sleep this past Friday, Feb. 19 at the age of 89. In a report released by CNN, Lee’s family stated, “The family of Nelle Harper Lee, of Monroeville, Alabama, announced today, with great sadness that Ms. Lee passed away in her sleep early this morning. Her passing was unexpected. She remained in good basic health until her passing. The family is in mourning and there will be a private funeral service in the upcoming days, as she had requested.”

Lee is a world-renowned author, best known for her novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In addition to winning a Pulitzer Prize, “To Kill a Mockingbird” won several other literary awards. The book was eventually adapted as a film in 1962, two years after it was published.

Kristin Photo, Courtesy of Flickr.
Kristin Photo, Courtesy of Flickr.

In a 1964 radio interview, Lee explained, “I never expected any sort of success with ‘Mockingbird.’ I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers, but at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it well enough to give me encouragement.” Little did Lee know that the novel would eventually become an American literature classic, read in high schools across the country in order to cover the issue of racial discrimination.

Her only other novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” was published in July 2015. This book was actually written before “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and is based around the characters that are featured in her more famous novel. Some critics believe that “Go Set a Watchman” doesn’t compare to her original novel, and that it has even tainted her legacy. Nevertheless, Lee will forever be remembered as a classic novelist that changed the literary world forever, and her presence will be missed.

As a student, it was an honor to read her novel and be able to witness her amazing storytelling techniques. The world has lost a beautiful and intelligent soul. Lee will continue to inspire young writers as her legacy lives on.

Feature Image: Bear Photo, Courtesy of Flickr URL