A Portrait of Harper Lee

Book - 2006
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"A fine, well-rounded portrait of Harper Lee. Mockingbird is good reading."--Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

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.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805083194
Characteristics: 337 p., [8] leaves of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.

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Mar 08, 2017

I enjoyed this biography of Harper Lee. It was interesting to learn of her early ambitions to write a second novel and her relationship with Truman Capote.

Jul 01, 2014

Shields does a good job of writing a biography about a subject, Nelle Harper Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird,"without her cooperation. He extensively interviewed individuals who had sometimes the slightest brush with Lee to create a portrait of a non-conforming, shy, and witty woman. He gives prominence to her years of writing "Mockingbird" and assisting Truman Capote on the research of "In Cold Blood," probably because that's when Lee was most in the public eye and more quotable material was available.

May 27, 2013

Great book! a very factual but entertaining look at a very talented womans lifem if only she had a chance to write another. I think this bio does a good job of expalining why she didn't...

Jun 24, 2012

Fantastic book. I recommend this book to ALL fans of *To Kill A Mockingbird* book and/or movie.
What a wonderful woman.

Oct 27, 2007

This book about the life of Harper Lee who wrote to Kill a Mockingbird was very interesting. She lived during an active time in US history. I didn't know that she was childhood friends with Truman Capote and how much they affected each other. It was an enjoyable book as well as a learning experience.

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