Literary Birthday – 28 April – Harper Lee
Happy Birthday, Harper Lee, born 28 April 1926
Five Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird
- Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.
- I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.
- Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.
- Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
- You really never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
Seven Quotes: On Reading & Writing
- More than a simple matter of putting down words, 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.
- There’s no substitute for the love of language, for the beauty of an English sentence. There’s no substitute for struggling, if a struggle is needed, to make an English sentence as beautiful as it should be.
- I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.
- 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.
- It was like being hit over the head and knocked cold. I didn’t expect the book to sell in the first place. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of reviewers but at the same time I sort of hoped that maybe someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.
- Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.
- You must come to terms with yourself about your writing. You must not write ‘for’ something; you must not write with definite hopes of reward.
Lee is an American author known for her 1961 Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelTo Kill a Mockingbird. Despite it being her only published book, it led to her being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees. She is also well-known for assisting her close friend Truman Capote in his research for the book In Cold Blood.
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