(Nelle) Harper Lee
is the author of
To Kill a Mockingbird, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. The
book became an international bestseller and was adapted onto the screen in 1962
where Gregory Peck won a Best Actor Oscar for his compassionate performance as
Atticus Finch. Lee was 34 when the work was published, and it has remained her
Descendent from Robert E. Lee, the Southern Civil War general, Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. Her father was a former newspaper editor and proprietor, who had served as a state senator and practiced as a lawyer in Monroeville. Lee studied law at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949, and spent a year as an exchange student in Oxford University, Wellington Square. Six months before finishing her studies, she went to New York to pursue a literary career. She worked as an Airline reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and British Overseas Airways during the 1950s. In 1959 Lee accompanied Truman Capote to Holcombe, Kansas, as a research assistant for Capote's classic non-fiction novel In Cold Blood (1966).
Although her first novel gained a huge success, Lee did not continue her career as a writer. She returned from New York to Monroeville, where she has lived avoiding interviews. To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into several languages.
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