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Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Author, Led a Life of Great Courage | The Digital Reader
The death of Harper Lee is big news. Bigger than the deaths of most major writers. Why? It isn’t because she made worldwide headlines last summer due to the controversy over the recent publication of Go Set A Watchman. That book was initially described as a sequel To Kill A Mockingbird, but is now generally regarded as a shoddy first draft of Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning work. It is pretty disappointing. But Go Set a Watchman does help to suggest why To Kill A Mockingbird made such an impact when it appeared and continues to do so. The 1960 novel, unlike the book published in 2015, is committed without being preachy. It makes serious points about race, class and the sheer delight and agony of growing up in the only way fiction can and should – by immersing its readers in the lives of its characters. And it tells a story that is simultaneously instructive, insightful and gripping. In short, it makes a difference – to the life, that is, of anyone who ever reads it. Which brings me back to why the death of Harper Lee is such an event. Without question, To Kill A Mockingbird is one [...]