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Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, dies aged 89

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Harper Lee, one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century, has died at the age of 89 in Alabama, USA. 

She wrote the internationally acclaimed, Pulitzer prize-winning book To Kill a Mockingbird, a coming-of-age tale of racism and injustice in the American Deep South.

Though it was Lee's debut book, it became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1960, capturing the imagination of thousands of readers with its heartwarming, matter-of-fact and quietly devastating narrative. It sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Last year she published a sequel to the novel titled Go Set a Watchman, which became the most pre-ordered title on Amazon since the final Harry Potter book.

Harper Lee, one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century

Harper Lee, one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century

A guardedly private individual, Lee lived for several years in a nursing home less than a mile from the house in which she had grown up in Monroeville, Alabama – the setting for the fictional Maycomb of her famous book.

Harper Lee suffered a stroke in 2007, recovered and resumed her life in the hometown where she spent many of her 89 years.

Lee was respected and protected by residents of the town, AL.com reports, where Mockingbird-themed murals are on display throughout. 

The 1962 film version of To Kill A Mockingbird, starring Mary Badham

The 1962 film version of To Kill A Mockingbird, starring Mary Badham

Harper Lee's finest lines

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” 

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

Harper Lee

“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

To Kill A Mockingbird

“We're paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It's that simple.” 

“Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

“You can't really get to know a person until you get in their shoes and walk around in them.”

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