Harper Lee, 1926–2016

Harper Lee in 1961 by Donald Uhrbrock (Irish Times / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images)

Harper Lee has passed away in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

Nelle Harper Lee was best known for her first novel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird, that stands with The Catcher in the Rye and Catch-22 as the best American novels since World War 2, and its equally famous 1962 film adaptation. Lee’s childhood friendship with Truman Capote, a loosely veiled as Dill in Mockingbird, helped to yield another postwar American literary masterpiece, In Cold Blood. And despite her reclusiveness, Lee was honoured many times after the publication of Mockingbird, most notably with the US National Medal of Arts in 2010 and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

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