Courage, mystery, and death: Facts and Opinions about Harper Lee

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) before awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to American novelist Harper Lee (L) in the East Room of the White House, in this November 5, 2007, file photo. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) before awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to American novelist Harper Lee (L) in the East Room of the White House, in this November 5, 2007, file photo. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee dies, age 89, by Bill Trott, February 19, 2106

Harper Lee, who wrote one of America’s most beloved literary classics, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and surprised readers with a second book about racial injustice in the U.S. South after living a largely reclusive life for decades, died at the age of 89.

Harper Lee: a life of great courage, by Richard Gray, February 19, 2016

Harper Lee showed real courage throughout her life – not least, by writing a book that went against the tide of majority white opinion in the American South at the time. Her reward for that courage is to be loved by generations of readers, who have discovered – and will continue to do so – that reading her work can change everything.

There’s something mysterious about reviving Harper Lee’s Mockingbird, by Richard Gray (F&O Archives, Feb. 2015)

Every now and then, the writer Josephine Humphreys has suggested, our lives veer from their day-to-day course and become for a short while “the kind of life that can be told as a story – that is, one in which events appear to have meaning”. As the astounding news breaks that she is to publish a second novel, Harper Lee must be feeling like her life has become a story – a story which the meaning of remains just a little hidden and mysterious.

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