“As a reader I loathe introductions.”

-Harper Lee

(Sorry, Ms Lee. As contradictory as it seems I’m going to have to write one on you, even though I immensely agree with your opinion there.)

Growing up, I was considered a tomboy by many. I did not care for what girls my age would be interested in. I was an outgoing, happy soul that did whatever pleased me, which became the base of my personality today. I always thrived to go through new experiences, constantly adding a chapter to a story called life. Books and literature were one of my favourite things to explore as they gave me ideas of how different one’s life can be, from tragic to blissful, funny yet heartwarming. Such stories inspired me to try new things and not resort to following what trends would display.

This year, I stumbled across a book called “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The form of older English confused me as I read the book, yet I somehow still had a thorough idea of what was happening. I did not know most of the words used yet I still knew each and every character’s persona like the back of my hand. The stories of life in Alabama had me feeling as if I was growing up with Scout and Jem in my life like they were my own siblings, as well as Atticus, who I pictured as my own father.

The book discussed such heavy and distressing subjects with many references to discrimination, yet the feeling of a child’s cheerful nature was still felt throughout the entire book. I was astonished at how this book left me feeling; it was like nothing before. It was a form of art, a treasure.

It got me wondering who with what kind of life published such work.

Nelle Harper Lee was born April 28th, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She was a child who stomped through flower beds, shot rubber bands and even broke a boy’s tooth. Even playing while playing games she tended to be rough, nicknamed “Queen of the tomboys”. She outgoing and energetic despite the demanding standards of being a calm, polite female in her time. She would always protect her friend Truman Capote (who is also a successful writer) from bullies who teased him frequently. Her personality as a youngster spoke to me, as she wasn’t afraid to be different even back in the days where disapproval may have been much stronger than what it could have been today. The first time I read about her childhood, I thought, “What a brave and bold kid.”

She was the youngest of the family, like Scout Finch. Her father was a lawyer, just like Atticus. To Kill a Mockingbird took place in Alabama, where she lived and grew up in.The book wasn’t only fictional – it had many connections to herself and the way she lived her life. I felt traces of her personality in her story.

To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, followed by her second and last novel Go Set a Watchman in 2015. To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize the year after its publication in 1961, earning instant success. The book was made into a film in the following year, 1962, bringing even more attention to her. Even though she had become a very successful woman with much fame, she always turned down reporters and journalists, refused interviews and kept her life the way it always was, a woman who liked to write in a neighbourhood where everyone knew each other. She was known to even leave the room if pestered about the novel. Unlike her childhood self, she grew up to be a very reserved and private person. She chose what made her the happiest over fame, which I greatly admire about her. Nelle Harper Lee is pronounced Nail-Har-puh-lee. She hated it when her name would be mispronounced by nearly everyone she met. Something I can relate to on a personal level… Her pen name does not include her first name for this reason.

Harper Lee Yunmin Lee
Female Female
Unknown Straight
Passionate about reading and writing Passionate about reading and writing
Outgoing Personality Outgoing personality
American Korean-Canadian
Deceased Alive
Born in Monroeville, Alabama  Born in Seoul, South Korea

As you may already have noticed, Ms Lee and I do not share a whole lot in common. But what drew me most to choosing her for my eminent project is that her passion was an excellent story loved internationally and a self – reflection on her own life. It showed how she lived and grew without directly telling the audience. She was not blinded by the fame she had and continued to write and build the story of her life. She lived her life to the fullest.

Someday I wish to have had a life like hers, where I have my own stories to tell in a beautiful way like she did. She motivated my tired self to keep going and create the story of my life, experiencing events of all kinds to build a tale to tell in decades to come.

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