To Kill a Mockingbird—the twentieth century's most widely read American novel—has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million yearly. Yet despite her book's perennial popularity, its creator, Harper Lee, has become a somewhat mysterious figure. Now, after years of research, Charles J. Shields brings to life the warmhearted, high-spirited, and occasionally hardheaded woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters--Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout.
At the center of Shields's evocative, lively book is the story of Lee's struggle to create her famous novel, but her colorful life contains many highlights--her girlhood as a tomboy in overalls in tiny Monroeville, Alabama; the murder trial that made her beloved father's reputation and inspired her great work; her journey to Kansas as Truman Capote's ally and research assistant to help report the story of In Cold Blood. Mockingbird--unique, highly entertaining, filled with humor and heart--is a wide-ranging, idiosyncratic portrait of a writer, her dream, and the place and people whom she made immortal.
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