It's always sad to report the loss of a talented, much-loved author, or any human for that matter.
I was a young girl when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird. I did not understand it at the time. We lived in the country where there were no black folks. This was west St. Louis County, Missouri. One thing the years have taught me -- as I write from my desk in south Georgia -- that collectively we must experience the framework of ethnic groups to fully understand people of different religious, cultural practices, race, and attitudes, and their places in time.
Could the events in "Mockingbird" happen today? Of course. We have also learned that technological progress over time doesn't translate to people progress.
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama.
Go Set a Watchman was written by Lee before Mockingbird, but published decades later. It became a phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller when it was published in July 2015.
Harper Lee received the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and numerous other literary awards and honors. She died on February 19, 2016.
Gerrie Ferris Finger
Journalist and Author