National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write.


Other works by Harper Lee

In the 1960s, Lee published three essays in American magazines, which can be read at Jane Kansas' To Kill a Mockingbird website. Lee published her fourth essay in 1985, originally presented as a paper at the 1983 Alabama History and Heritage Festival.

"Christmas to Me." McCalls 89 (December 1961): 63.

"Love-In Other Words." Vogue 137 (April 15, 1961): 64-5.

"When Children Discover America." McCalls 92 (August 1965): 76-9.

"Romance and High Adventure." Clearings in the Thicket: An Alabama Humanities Reader. Ed. Jerry Elijah Brown. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1985. 13-20.

Interviews with Harper Lee

In the early 1960s, Lee gave many interviews before she chose to step out of the public eye. One of them was first published in Roy Newquist's book, Counterpoint, another in Rogue magazine. Both can also be found on Jane Kansas' To Kill a Mockingbird website.

Books about Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Bloom, Harold, ed. Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996.

Johnson, Claudia Durst. "To Kill a Mockingbird": Threatening Boundaries. New York: Twayne, 1994.

Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2006.

"Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself.... It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent."
-Harper Lee
from a 1964 interview

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