Harper Lee’s funeral was attended by only closest friends and family. It was a reflection of the way she chose to live. Yet she will long be remembered for one classic American novel, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Like many English teachers, I taught the novel to sophomores in high school. According to THE WASHINGTON POST, the book still earns about three million dollars each year.
Ironically, I had just learned of Harper Lee’s death as I finished reading
GO SET A WATCHMAN, the unimpressive prequel to MOCKINGBIRD recently published.
Did Lee have help from her friend Truman Capote or a sympathetic editor in creating MOCKINGBIRD? It hardly matters. Didn’t Shakespeare write his plays with input from other playwrights?
On the very day that Harper Lee passed away, my first cousin, Ros, also died. She didn’t leave behind a great work of American fiction. However, her three children and their families including six grandchildren were there at her funeral. There were, in fact, many friends and relatives who knew and loved her for the fine person she was.
There is more than one type of greatness. When we must shuffle off the mortal coil, being remembered by others keeps us alive in ways that matter.
Thoughts and comments always welcome.