There are few books in American literature that readers universally love generation after generation; Author Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those rare books. Born in 1926, struggling author Harper Lee was given a life-changing Christmas gift from her friends in the late 1950’s: a year's wages, without having to work. She argued that they could not afford such generosity, but they insisted that with her talent and a year without distraction, something wonderful would result. The result was To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960 and became an instant success, going on to win the Pulitzer Prize and becoming a classic book of modern American literature. To date, it is author Harper Lee’s only published novel, and although she continues to respond to the book’s impact, she has refused any personal publicity for herself or her classic book since 1964 when, in Harper Lee’s last interview, she said she "never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird.” More recently Lee wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey about her love of books as a child and her dedication to the written word. She also wrote that 75 years after the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, “where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.”
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