Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Extraordinary Harper Lee!

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view" (H.Lee)

Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926, still alive)

Allow me to introduce you a great lady, extraordinary, who is known for her modesty, only published book - To Kill a Mockingbird, best known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize, and also winner of Presidential Medal of Freedom of the United States. Lee has also been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, but has always declined to make a speech. She used to say: "Well, it's better to be silent than to be a fool". She is also one of my favorite writers! 
 She grew up in Alabama, the youngest of four children. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader, and was best friends with her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote. Capote once acknowledged this: "Harper Lee was my best friend, lifelong friend".  Later, Lee was his crucial research partner for In Cold Blood. 
In 1949, a 23-year-old Lee arrived in New York City. She struggled for several years, working as a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines and for the British Overseas Air Corp. 
In the summer of 1959,  she completed To Kill a Mockingbird, wich was an immediate bestseller and won great critical acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. 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. Many details of To Kill a Mockingbird are apparently autobiographical. 

 "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." (Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, Chapter 10)
Since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee has granted almost no requests for interviews or public appearances, and with the exception of a few short essays, has published no further writings. 

On November 5, 2007. at a White House Ceremony
  Lee was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, which is the highest civilian award in the United States and recognizes individuals who has made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".

The most popular essays by H.L. are:
 Until the next post,  

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