Harper Lee Makes Rare Appearance

Posted on May 23, 2005

Harper Lee, the 79 year-old author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has avoided the press for decades and has never written another book. But she made a rare appearance at an event in her honour hosted by The Los Angeles public library.

After winning the Pulitzer Prize for her novel which explored racism in the South, she pulled a J.D. Salinger and vanished. Her last interview was in 1964.

But she could not refuse an invitation from Veronique Peck, the widow of Gregory Peck, who won an Oscar for his starring role as lawyer Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of the book and became a lifelong friend of Ms Lee. The film's co-star Brock Peters, who played the black man falsely accused of rape, presented the award to her.

After Mrs Peck whispered in her ear, the writer gave her only remarks of the evening. "I'll say it again. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart." she said.

Mrs. Peck said that her husband Gregory Peck's favorite film role was that of Atticus Finch. Mrs. Peck talked about the importance and impact of the book and said thousands of schoolkids and teachers wrote her husband every year after seeing the film at school. We've never heard a definitive explanation of why Ms. Lee stopped writing: it's quite a mystery.

More from Writers Write