Good Bye Harper Lee: 1926 to 2016

Mekayla Phan, Features Editor

One of America’s most cherished authors, Harper Lee, passed away at the age of 89. The inspiring author, who lived a humble life dedicated solely to her love of writing and books, etched her way into many hearts and generations with her award-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird. On Friday (February 19th), she died peacefully in her sleep at an assisted living facility in Monroeville, Alabama (Monroeville is where she was born and resided for several years).

Lee had already been suffering heath problems of near deafness and blindness, and a stroke in 2007. Last summer, there was also huge concern of publishing Go Set a Watchman during  her ill state. It is said that the book was being released without her consent, but that she grew to accept it and was actually excited. The book was an expected success, but drew lots of controversy in being the first unedited draft and sequel of her greatest masterpiece.

Published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird became a great American classic that is read and taught in schools across the country every year. Revealing in past racial and social injustices, and through iconic characters like the witty tomboy Scout; the lovable Jem; the mysterious Boo Radley; and of course, our much beloved and respected Atticus Finch, Lee teaches us about integrity, empathy, and true courage. In her novel, she teaches us to fight for what is right in our hearts, to try to understand people instead of judging, and to not destroy the innocence and beauty in everyone- valuable lessons that can’t ever be forgotten.

And so, Harper Lee, will not be forgotten. By her friends and family both in Monroeville and New York, and fans everywhere- she will be remembered in our memories and those book pages, speaking to us with her wisdom, light humor, and warmth.

In tribute to Harper Lee’s perseverance and courage:

“I wanted to show you what real courage is… it’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do”-Atticus Finch