Study Guide

Harper Lee Biography

There are only so many things that we know for sure about Nelle Harper Lee, born 28 April 1926, and the author of To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

We know that she was a lawyer's daughter, raised in a small Alabama town in the 1930s, just like her plucky narrator Scout Finch. We know that Lee was aware of the racial injustices and ugly prejudices that simmered in small towns like hers and that sometimes these prejudices erupted in trials similar to the one at the center of her book. We know that in 1960 she published a novel that became an instant classic, inspiring millions with its unique blend of humor and sharp social observations. And then, at the peak of her fame, Harper Lee decided to turn down the limelight offered to her. She was, as the writer Garrison Keillor has put it, "a woman who knew when to get off the train."

Childhood

Writing Mockingbird

Recluse

Family

Education

Work Experience

Novels

Awards

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