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The colorful life of the remarkable woman who created "To Kill a Mockingbird"--the classic that became a touchstone for generations of Americans
"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 the book's perennial popularity, its creator, Harper Lee has become a somewhat mysterious figure. Now, after years of research, Charles J. Shields has brought 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--and who contributed to the success of her lifelong friend Truman Capote's masterpiece, "In Cold Blood."
At the center of Shields's lively book is the story of Lee's struggle to create her famous novel. But her life contains many other highlights as well: 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 Capote's ally and research assistant to help report the story of the Clutter murders; the surrogate family she found in New York City.
Drawing on six hundred interviews and much new information, "Mockingbird "is the first book ever written about Harper Lee. Highly entertaining, filled with humor and heart, this is an evocative portrait of a writer, her dream, and the place and people whom she made immortal.


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