Author Harper Lee Dead at 89

The Takeaway

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Harper Lee, author of the famed American novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," has died at the age of 89 in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

In 1961, "To Kill A Mockingbird" won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The story of Scout, her father Atticus Finch, and the struggle for racial justice in the American South has become one of the nation's most beloved novels.

Until last year, "To Kill A Mockingbird" was the only work Lee, who was born in 1926, ever published. Last winter, the publishing world was sent into a cataclysmic fit over news that the author would be publishing a companion work to her much beloved novel.

Released 55 years after "To Kill A Mockingbird," the new story—"Go Set a Watchman"—follows a grown-up Scout (who goes by the name Jean-Louise) as she returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York. Back in the South, she finds her hometown—and the people she loves in it—nearly unrecognizable.

In "To Kill A Mockingbird," Atticus Finch was a strong, noble literary character, who, as a lawyer, defended a black man accused of rape. In "Go Set a Watchman," it's Atticus who is on trial among American readers for his newly unearthed racism.

Here to remember Harper Lee is her longtime friend, Starling Lawrence, editor-at-large at W. W. Norton.

How are you remembering Harper Lee? Tell us in the comments, tweet us @TheTakeaway, comment on our Facebook page, or give us a call at 1-877-8-MY-TAKE.

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