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To Kill a Mockingbird was Nelle Harper Lee's first novel. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, the international bestseller was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962. In 1999, it was voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a poll by the Library Journal. Until the last year of her life, her reputation was largely based on this monumental work, garnering her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. A childhood friend of Truman Capote, she accompanied him to Kansas as a research assistant for an article that became Capote's iconic non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. In 2015, an earlier draft of Mockingbird, titled "Go Set a Watchman," was published. The book was criticized for a different portrayal of Atticus, who voices racist sentiments, and questions arose as to whether Lee actually wanted it released. Despite ambivalent reviews the book was one of the bestselling novel of 2015. Harper Lee died on February 19, 2016 at the age of 89.

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