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Harper Lee, Author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'Go Set a Watchman' Dead at 89

( [email protected] ) Feb 19, 2016 02:02 PM EST
Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman" died at the age of 89. Her great influence on the literary world will be missed.
Since its July 14 release, Publisher HarperCollins says more than 1.1 million copies of Harper Lee's ''Watchman'' have sold so far in print, e-book and audio formats, making it the fastest-selling book in company history. AP photo

Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman" died at the age of 89. Her great influence on the literary world will be missed. 

The Mayor's office in Monroeville Alabama confirmed that Harper Lee passed away. This is Lee's hometown. 

The novelist was born Nell Harper Lee on April 28, 1926. She became known as a legendary writer ever since she published "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1960. The book was a huge commercial and critical success. The author received a Pulitzer Prize for it. The book, which relayed the story of a white layer defending a black man wrongly charged with rape in America's deep South, is still widely read and loved until today even decades have passed already. 

Related: Harper Lee's Bestselling Novel 'Go Set a Watchman' Full Of Religious Themes, Biblical Parallels

The author penned a sequel for "To Kill a Mockingbird" after more than 50 years had passed. It was entitled "Go Set a Watchman." Published in 2015, it was also a huge commercial success, even though it received mixed reviews. Copies were sold out overnight. 

Upon her passing, she leaves a huge void in the literary world. BBC reported a lot of those who knew her, from publishers to bookstore owners, have nothing but kind words to say about the author. Her literary agent Andrew Nurnberg released a fitting message with regard her death. "Knowing Nelle these past few years has been not just an utter delight but an extraordinary privilege," he said. "When I saw her just six weeks ago, she was full of life, her mind and mischievous wit as sharp as ever. She was quoting Thomas More and setting me straight on Tudor history. We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity," he added. 

Countless others shared the thought. Spencer Madrie of Ol' Curiosities and Book Shoppe, a small independent book store in the author's hometown said a "Brilliant mind and a great writer" vanished from this world. 

"We will remember Harper Lee for her candour, her talent, and the truths she gave the world, perhaps before the world was ready. We are grateful to have had a connection to an author who offered so much," he said. "There will always be something missing from Monroeville and the world at large in the absence of Harper Lee," he added. 

The head of HarperCollins US, Michael Morrison also released a statement. According to him, the world might have lost a great writer, but he personally lost a great friend. He praised the author's ability to live her life the way she wanted to. 

"The world knows Harper Lee was a brilliant writer, but what many don't know is that she was an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility and kindness," he said. "She lived her life the way she wanted to - in private - surrounded by books and the people who loved her. I will always cherish the time I spent with her," he added. 

Tags : Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman, dead, died, passed away