Harper Lee Surfaces on Reading


Harper Lee, author of the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird,” has written a rare published item — a letter for Oprah Winfrey’s magazine on how she became a reader as a child in a rural, Depression-era Alabama town.
In a letter for the magazine’s July “special summer reading issue,” Lee tells of becoming a reader before first grade: She was read to by her older sisters and brother, a story a day by her mother, newspaper articles by her father. “Then, of course, it was Uncle Wiggly at bedtime.”
She also writes about the scarcity of books in the 1930s in Monroeville, where she grew up and where she lives part of each year. That deficit, combined with a lack of anything else to do — no movies for kids, no parks for games — made books especially treasured, she writes.

More on Harper Lee.

One thought on “Harper Lee Surfaces on Reading”

  1. For more information on Nelle Harper Lee, I would recommend “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee” by Charles Shields.
    This biography was written without Lee’s input, though it was frequently sought, but seems carefully researched and is without the sensationalism and author ego that accompanies much written today.
    Shields tells of the writing of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, the wonderful support from Lee’s New York friends, and her editor honing Lee’s writing craft, and bringing her only book to fruition.
    He tells of her friendship with the narcissitic Truman Capote, her coauthorship of Capote’s “In Cold Blood” (which Capote, of course, never acknowledged, though he had no problem implying, falsely, his contribution to “Mockingbird”).
    And, Shields makes attempts to understand why Lee never wrote again.

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