Esteemed author Harper Lee dies at 89


Harper Lee, renowned author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and most recently, “Go Set a Watchman,” died at age 89 on the morning of Friday, Feb. 19.


Many Staples students have expressed sentiments over the loss of such a highly-regarded author. “When I found out she passed I was really upset because I think she’s one of the greatest writers out there,” Gillian Rozynek ’16 said.


Additionally, well-known authors have taken to Twitter to share their condolences. “Ms. Lee lived a private life, but she was quietly and extraordinarily generous,” John Green, writer of “The Fault in our Stars,” tweeted.


According to the New York Times, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was an instant success when it first became published in 1960, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year. Today, 40 million copies of the novel have been sold, and it is one of the most widely taught works of fiction.


In Westport’s public school curriculum, the novel is taught to eighth graders in both Coleytown and Bedford Middle School, and it has created lasting impressions among many students.


“I still remember acting out portions of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in class,” Cayne Mandell ’17 said. “I don’t typically enjoy reading, but I did love that book.”


So impactful was “To Kill a Mockingbird” that, in 1962, it was converted into a movie that received similarly high praise.


“It portrayed the story in a new light while still offering the important themes highlighted in the original book,” Ben Harizman ’17 said.


Though Harper Lee has passed away, she has surely left a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come.