To Kill a Mockingbird, which needs no introduction because it is the introduction, for most American children, to civil rights, literature, and the justice system had sold nearly a million copies for each year in print. As to why Lee never published anything other than. To Kill a Mockingbird and, eventually, Go Set a Watchman, Shields points to a response Lee once gave: I said what I had to say. It was left to Alices successor in the family firm, Tonja Carter, to sort things out. Carter restricted Lees visitors and instituted lawsuits against not just the literary agent but also the courthouse museum. This piece originally ran in July 2014. We are rerunning it with the news of Harper Lee's death. For Monroeville, Alabama, population 6,400 and shrinking, the summer of 2010 was momentous.
Most of Mockingbird s characters have real-life antecedents, and Scouts delicate friend Dill is clearly Capote. He was Nelles first writing partner and her social fixer in New York, and Lee helped him research his true-crime classic, In Cold Blood.