跟贴BBC上的obituary——英国出版的《Go Set a Watchman》和美国版的不一样啊：
Obituary: Harper Lee
Harper Lee remained an enigma despite writing what has been hailed as a
classic of modern literature.
To Kill a Mockingbird has been in print for more than five decades and few
works have been subject to as much critical analysis and interpretation.
It has become a set book in school literature studies and regularly appears
on lists of books that are essential reading.
Yet its author refused all requests for interviews and public appearances
and there was surprise when, in 2015, it was announced she had previously
written a sequel.
Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama, the youngest child of
Frances Finch Lee and Amasa Coleman Lee. Her father was a former newspaper
editor and proprietor, who practised as a lawyer in the town.
She studied law at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949, and spent a
year at Oxford University as an exchange student - originally intending to
work as a lawyer in her father's firm.
However, six months before finishing her studies, Lee went to New York to
pursue a literary career.
In 1957 she submitted a manuscript of her first novel to JB Lippincott
Company. They told her it was "a series of short stories" and encouraged her
to rewrite it.
Lee spent the next two-and-a-half years reworking the book, which was
published in 1960. It was an immediate success, becoming an international
bestseller, and receiving critical acclaim. Lee was presented with the
Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1961.
Semi-autobiographical, the novel is set in a small Alabama town, and several
of the characters are drawn from life. The lawyer Atticus Finch was
modelled on Lee's own father, and the character of Dill was drawn from
Truman Capote, Lee's childhood friend.
Narrated by Atticus Finch's daughter, it is the story of his defence of Tom
Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl from a poor family.
Though he is clearly innocent, Robinson is convicted of the crime by a white
jury, and murdered. The story emphasises that children are born with an
instinct for justice and absorb prejudices in the socialisation process.
A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1962, and was awarded four
Oscars, including best actor for Gregory Peck - who played Atticus Finch.
Lee was so impressed by Peck's performance that she presented him with her
father's watch. Both her hometown Monroeville and Mobile had petitions to
host its premiere with Mobile securing the prize.
Apart from her novel, Lee had only four articles published. She divided her
time equally between New York and Monroeville, where she lived with her
sister Alice, after her father became ill.
After he died in 1961, she continued living in both places for the rest of
her life. Celebrated in her home town, local people guarded her from outside
interest. Few would speak about her, beyond describing her as "a little
hard of hearing, but nice".
Her cousin Richard Williams who ran the local drug store once said: "I asked
her one time why she never wrote another book. She told me, 'When you have
a hit like that, you can't go anywhere but down'. "
Shunning all publicity, Lee would reveal only that she loved golf, admired
her father, and planned to publish her memoirs.
She did occasionally appear in public. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary
doctorate from Notre Dame University. As the degree was presented, the
graduating class rose as one, held up copies of her book, and cheered.
A year later she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W
Bush recognising her special contribution to American life and culture.
In February 2015 her millions of fans were surprised and delighted when it
was announced that an unpublished novel, written before Mockingbird, was
finally to see the light of day.
Lee wrote it in the mid-1950s but put it aside on the advice of her editor.
Go Set a Watchman, features the character Scout Finch as an adult who has
returned to her home town to visit her father, the lawyer, Atticus Finch
"I thought it a pretty decent effort," she said, "I am humbled and amazed
that this will now be published after all these years."
In the event the book generally disappointed her fans and was dismissed by
the critics. Mick Brown in the Daily Telegraph expressed the general opinion
of the reviewers.
"It would have been a greater kindness to her reputation, and to the
millions who cherish To Kill a Mockingbird, not to have published it at all."
Harper Lee remained largely withdrawn from the public gaze. Even a revised
introduction to a new edition of To Kill a Mockingbird had to be taken from
a letter she wrote to her agent, saying that she would not write an
"Mockingbird still says what it has to say; it has managed to survive the
years without preamble."