Though I knew this day would come, my heart still stopped when one of my students ran into my classroom this morning and told me the news that Harper Lee had passed.
I have a hard time articulating how deeply her words meant to me when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird as a junior in high school. There was something about her narrative style that I hadn't read before and I was addicted. It was the only book we read as part of a curriculum that I wanted to buy for myself. I did, and I continued to re-read it every year until I was hired to teach sophomore English and could re-read it several times each year. It still remains a favorite after all these years.
While I am saddened that I will never have the opportunity to meet or see my literary hero, I am glad that Nelle Harper Lee died peacefully in her sleep and lived a full, happy, quiet life.
R.I.P. Nelle Harper Lee
April 28, 1926 - February 19, 2016