Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Nelle Harper Lee, R.I.P.

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Reclusive author Harper Lee  has died  unexpectedly at age 89.   She had been in a nursing home since a stroke in 2007.   She was apparently overwhelmed by the success of  “To Kill a Mockingbird”,  which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

A descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee,  she was Truman Capote’s research assistant for his novel “In Cold Blood.”   I’ve always wondered what about her own novel’s success drove her to largely retire from the world,  which was both easier and harder than you’d think in a small town like Monroeville, Alabama,  but the locals quickly got into the habit of protecting their celebrity,  so it worked for her.

Her second novel,  “Go Set a Watchman” was published in July of last year.   I still suspect this novel was essentially the first draft of Mockingbird,  but I suppose we will likely never know the truth of that.

UPDATE:  Ron Charles comments at the Washington Post on Miss Lee’s losing control  of her legacy.

Aaron Goldstein  also weighs  in.




Written by timeforthorns

February 20, 2016 at 10:09 am

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