Friday, February 19, 2016

Death of Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” – Le Monde

Le Monde | • Updated | By

Harper Lee in 1963.

It symbolized one of the most spectacular fairy tales of contemporary publishing industry. The American writer Harper Lee, known mainly for his novel To Kill A Mocking Bird (1960), Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and reissued in France by Grasset under the title Do not pull the mocking bird (2015) died in his hometown of Monroeville (Alabama) on Friday 19 February. She was 89 years old.

On a photo, we see perky, little lady with white hair and glasses, laughing arm of George W. Bush. Paternally leaned toward her, the president just handed him the Medal of Freedom for his contributions to literature. We are in 2007. And the contribution of Harper Lee, octogenarian, then down to one book. But what a book! not Kill a Mockingbird, a courageous denunciation of racial segregation became very quickly a classic of American literature (30 million sold) <. /> p>

She gives up the right to write

Nelle Harper Lee would have turned 90 years old in two months. Born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, she was the daughter of a lawyer, editor of the local newspaper, the Monroe Journal . At school, she worked alongside the US American writer Truman Capote – it will help later in his research for his book In Cold Blood . From 1945 to 1949, she follows in the footsteps of his father, and studied law at the University of Alabama. But it does not end his studies and moved to New York with the intention of becoming a writer.

In 1957, she submits to his literary agent a collection of stories. The agent retains one that advised him to develop and deepen and that will To Kill A Mocking Bird . The story is set in the South during the Great Depression. It depicts a lawyer of integrity, Atticus Finch (very similar to the father of the author), who decides to defend a Black accused of raping a white woman. Advocacy for justice, the novel seems at the time of the recognition of civil rights for African Americans. Sold 500 000 copies in the first year, he instantly knows success and soon studied in colleges and high schools in the United States.

A second novel, published fifty-five later

for half a century, this bestseller will remain the only published work Lee. Until is revealed the existence of another novel (written before Mockingbird), Go and post a sentry , published to great fanfare in the US in July 2015 (and in France by Grasset in autumn 2015). In Do not pull .. . the story was told by the daughter of Atticus Finch, Scout, the stroke of genius of Harper Lee was to have made her a girl full of mischief and humor alongside a father embodies righteousness and justice.

Go and post a sentry , there were Scout in the 1950s, but his character was duller and his father, much less friendly. That’s probably why the publisher of the era had advised Lee Harper to reconsider its copy. That is also why, despite marketing efforts, this second novel will be extremely late disappointed the American public. As for To Kill a Mockingbird, it was adapted in 1962 into a film by Robert Mulligan ( To Kill a shadow ) with Gregory Peck and won several Oscars

Read the story. After fifty-five years of silence, Harper Lee published his second novel


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