Our exploration of noteworthy facts involving Christmas presents and American writers continues today. Yesterday we revealed the odd items which were the only Christmas presents William Faulkner would accept from his family.
Today, we look at how a generous Christmas gift led to one of the most popular and enduring works of twentieth-century literature being written.
In December 1956, Nelle Harper Lee, better known as Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, received a rather useful Christmas present from her friends, Michael Brown and Joy Williams Brown. It was a short note which read: ‘You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.’ Enclosed were a year’s wages, which Lee could only accept on condition that she give up work and write for a year. She accepted. Over the next year, she wrote the novel that became To…
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