The author of one of the bestselling novels of all time 'To Kill a Mockingbird' died in her sleep on Friday.
Harper Lee, known for her bestselling novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has died at the age of 89.
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The renowned author passed away on Friday in Monroeville, Alabama. The death was confirmed by Lee’s family.
“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,” the family statement reads. “She remained in good basic health until her passing. The family is in mourning and there will be private funeral service in upcoming days, as she had requested.”
Harper Lee was born in Monroeville in 1926 and grew up observing racial injustice and inequality. Her debut novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” also centered around justice and race and depicted a real-life story taking place near her hometown. The story involves a white lawyer defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.
The novel was an immediate success. More than 40 million copies were sold and the novel became a classic of modern American literature. Lee was awarded with Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for this work.
“I never expected any sort of success with ‘Mockingbird’, said Harper Lee in an interview in 1964. “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.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” was Lee’s only novel until “Go Set a Watchman” was published in July 2015, which was initially promoted as the sequel of her famous first novel but then it was confirmed to be Mockingbird’s first draft.
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Harper Lee was living in a nursing home for several years close to the house where she raised up in Monroeville. She occasionally spent time in her small apartment in Manhattan as well.