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In this file photo, author Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. Lee, elusive author of best-seller "To Kill a Mockingbird," has died at 89, according to her publisher Harper Collins.

Harper Lee, the elusive author whose "To Kill a Mockingbird" became an enduring best-seller and classic film with its child's-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, has died. She was 89.

HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis confirmed the author's death to The Associated Press on Friday.

For most of her life, Lee divided her time between New York City, where she wrote the novel in the 1950s, and her hometown of Monroeville, which inspired the book's fictional Maycombe.

"To Kill a Mockingbird," published in 1960, is the story of a girl nicknamed Scout growing up in a Depression-era Southern town. A black man has been wrongly accused of raping a white woman, and Scout's father, the resolute lawyer Atticus Finch, defends him despite threats and the scorn of many




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