Harper Lee

Lee, Harper (Nelle Harper Lee), 1926–, American novelist, b. Monroeville, Ala. A member of an old Southern family and related to Robert E. Lee, she was a lifelong friend of Truman Capote. Lee attended Huntington College (1944–45) and the Univ. of Alabama (1945–49) but left for New York City to pursue a writer's life. After writing several essays and short stories, she expanded one story into the novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), which was a best seller, won the Pulitzer Prize, was made (1962) into a popular film, and subsequently became one of the most widely read works of American fiction in the second half of the 20th cent. Mockingbird, which was Lee's only novel, is the story of small-town Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch's noble but unsuccessful legal defense of an African-American man falsely accused of raping a white woman. It also depicts the coming-of-age of Finch's young daughter, Scout, the book's semiautobiographical narrator, and of her brother Jem, and portrays the triumph of justice and tolerance. A private, reclusive person, Lee has lived quietly in Monroeville and New York since the mid-1960s.

See biography by C. J. Shields (2006); studies by J. Milton (1984), C. D. Johnson (1994), T. O'Neill (2000), C. Bernard (2003), B. Giddens-White (2006), L. Ellsworth (2007), A. H. Petry, ed. (2007), and C. Mancini (2008).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Harper Lee from Fact Monster:

  • Harper Lee - Harper Lee (Nelle Harper Lee) author Born: 4/28/1926 Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama Author of the ...
  • Harper Lee - Biography of Harper Lee, The author of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Atticus Finch - Biography of Atticus Finch, The upstanding lawyer from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Catherine Keener - Biography of Catherine Keener, Harper Lee in the movie Capote
  • Sandra Bullock - Sandra Bullock actress Born: 7/26/1964 Birthplace: Washington D.C. Actress known for her ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe