Harper Lee’s personal side the subject of new book about ‘Mockingbird’ author

Alabama historian Wayne Flynt holds a copy of his new book, “Afternoons with Harper Lee,” about the late author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” at a book-signing in Homewood, Alabama. Flynt and his late wife were friends with Lee, who died in 2016.

AP

HOMEWOOD, Ala. — To the world, Harper Lee was aloof to the point of being unknowable, an obsessively private person who spent most of her life avoiding the public gaze despite writing one of the best-selling books ever, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” To Wayne Flynt, the Alabama-born author was his friend, Nelle.

Flynt, a longtime Southern historian who became close friends with Nelle Harper Lee late in her life, has written his second book about the author, “Afternoons with Harper Lee,” which was released Thursday with Flynt signing copies at a bookstore in suburban Birmingham.

Based on Flynt’s notes from dozens of visits with Lee over a decade before her death in 2016, the book is like sitting on a porch and hearing tales of Lee’s childhood and family in rural Alabama, her later life in New York and everything in between. That includes the time a grandfather who fought for the Confederacy survived the Battle of Gettysburg despite heavy losses to his Alabama unit, according to Flynt.

“I told her, ‘You know, half the 15th of Alabama was either killed or wounded or captured, and he got away? Is that just luck or the providence of God? What in the world is that?’” Flynt said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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