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  • Tom Boyd

One Hit Wonder

Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American author known for her 1961 Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that the author observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Despite being Lee’s only published book, it led to her being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees but has always declined to make a speech.

To Kill A Mockingbird remains a bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print. In 1999, it was voted “Best Novel of the Century” in a poll by the Library Journal. It is also a great movie that won three Academy Awards including Best Actor for Gregory Peck.

Ms. Lee is an almost recluse (her last press interview was in 1964) and her only novel, published when she was 34, could be viewed as the “only” accomplishment of her life. Most of us would envy this “one hit wonder” — I do.

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