World America 20 Feb 2016 7 Facts About 'To Ki ...

7 Facts About 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Author Harper Lee

REUTERS
Published Feb 20, 2016, 6:47 pm IST
Updated Feb 20, 2016, 6:47 pm IST
Lee based the "To Kill a Mockingbird" character Dill on childhood friend
Harper Lee (Photo: AP)
 Harper Lee (Photo: AP)

Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" became one of the most beloved books in US literary history. Here are seven facts about Lee, who died at the age of 89:

* She went by Harper, her middle name, because she was afraid her first name, Nelle, would be mispronounced as "Nellie," not "Nell."

 

* Lee based the "To Kill a Mockingbird" character Dill on childhood friend Truman Capote, who in turn used her as the basis for a character in his "Other Voices, Other Rooms."

* "To Kill a Mockingbird," published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize the following year, but Conrad Richter's "The Waters of Kronos" beat her out for the National Book Award.

* Lee's fans were stunned to learn 55 years after publication of the novel of a long-stashed manuscript written before "To Kill a Mockingbird" and even more stunned that Atticus, the hero of the first book, was portrayed as a segregationist in "Go Set a Watchman." Atticus was based on Lee's father.

 

* Lee and actor Gregory Peck became friends during the filming of "To Kill a Mockingbird." She remained close to his family and Peck's grandson, Harper Peck Voll, is named for her.

* "To Kill a Mockingbird" created a cottage industry in her hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, with a museum dedicated to it, although Lee filed a lawsuit claiming it was selling unlicensed merchandise, such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" beverage coasters.

* Actresses Sandra Bullock ("Infamous" in 2006) and Catherine Keener ("Capote" in 2005) portrayed Lee in movies about the writing of Capote's "In Cold Blood."

 

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