Nelle Harper Lee, known by her pen name Harper Lee, was an American novelist. Lee published two novels in the span of her lifetime, the critically acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, a novel considered to be a first draft of her first novel. Lee was notorious for her reclusive nature, having only given a number of interviews since 1960. She was close friends with American novelist Truman Capote and was involved with the interview process for Capote's acclaimed non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. She passed away in February 2016 at the age of 89.
"To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced the character of our country for the better. It's been a gift to the entire world. As a model of good writing and humane sensibility, this book will be read and studied forever," said the President about Harper Lee's work.
Harper Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2007.
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