Harper Lee (1926-2016)

Harper Lee (1926-2016)

19th February, 2016

We are saddened to confirm the passing of Harper Lee, who died peacefully in her sleep at home in Monroeville during the night at the age of 89.  Her agent and friend, Andrew is just one of many to have paid tribute to the author:

“Knowing Nelle these past few years has been not just an utter delight but an extraordinary privilege. When I saw her just six weeks ago, she was full of life, her mind and mischievous wit as sharp as ever.  She was quoting Thomas More and setting me straight on Tudor history.  We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity.”


Tom Weldon, c.e.o. Penguin Random House UK

“We are honoured to have been Harper Lee’s publisher and so saddened to hear of her passing.  She was an extraordinary writer and readers around the world will always be thankful for her legacy.”


Susan Sandon, Penguin Random House UK

“I am deeply saddened, as her millions of readers will be, to learn of Nelle Harper Lee’s passing. I am honoured to have been her publisher and feel privileged to have met with her. Our sympathies are extended to her family.”


Michael Morrison, President and Publisher, HarperCollins US

“She lived her life the way she wanted to – in private – surrounded by books and the people who loved her […] I will always cherish the time I spent with her.”


Olivier Nora, Grasset & Fasquelle

Dear friends,

On behalf of Grasset and myself, I want first of all to extend my sincere condolences to all those who were close to Harper Lee.

We are overwhelmed with sadness at her passing – but equally with pride and honor at having published such a glorious author.

Our tears today are, if not relieved, at least brightened by the joy she has felt at being able to witness the extraordinary resonance that Go Set a Watchman has met all over the world.

Harper Lee was that rare mockingbird – a real writer, whose each and every word reminds us why we want to publish books and why we love to read them.

She was also a very private person; let her now rest in the peacefulness of that privacy.

I like to think she would have hated for us all to mourn, for her writings show what a fiercely lively  and indomitable woman she was. Yet mourn we will – although we’ll always find solace in the two novels she gave us. Those, indeed, will never pass.

Olivier Nora


Larry Downs, Senior Vice President & Publisher, HarperCollins Spain

“Como todos los fans de la literatura, estamos entristecidos por el fallecimiento de Harper Lee. Me siento honrado de haber tenido la oportunidad de publicar sus obras en español a un nuevo mundo de lectores”.


Feltrinelli, Italy

“Sono molto triste per la morte di Harper Lee.

Da quando lo abbiamo pubblicato nel 1962 per la prima volta, Il buio oltre la siepe non è mai mancato dal nostro catalogo. Il successo internazionale che continua a riscuotere dimostra come ancora oggi il problema della discriminazione razziale sia più che mai attuale. Questo libro, onorato anche dal presidente Barack Obama, più di ogni altro  ha insegnato a intere generazioni la lotta contro l’ingiustizia.

Siamo fieri di essere l’editore italiano di Harper Lee che illumina l’intero catalogo Feltrinelli.”


President Obama

“Atticus, he was real nice.”

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

“When Harper Lee sat down to write To Kill a Mockingbird, she wasn’t seeking awards or fame. She was a country girl who just wanted to tell an honest story about life as she saw it.

But what that one story did, more powerfully than one hundred speeches possibly could, was change the way we saw each other, and then the way we saw ourselves. Through the uncorrupted eyes of a child, she showed us the beautiful complexity of our common humanity, and the importance of striving for justice in our own lives, our communities, and our country.

Ms. Lee changed America for the better. And there is no higher tribute we can offer her than to keep telling this timeless American story – to our students, to our neighbors, and to our children – and to constantly try, in our own lives, to finally see each other.”


Wydawnictwo Filia, Poland

“Harper Lee, a truly great author of two wondrous novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, passed away peacefully in her sleep overnight.

The world was a better place with her in it. May she rest in peace.”

Click here to view Filia’s website.


Arab Scientific Publishers, Lebanon

“Arab Scientific Publishers and their associates and distributors extend their condolences on the loss of Harper Lee.  May she rest in peace.”


Bakur Sulakauri, Georgia

“We have a very sad news.

Harper Lee – one of our most beloved authors passed away. Her book To Kill A Mockingbird changed lives of many. We sincerely believe, that thanks to Harper Lee lot of people became more tolerant and kind to others.  RIP Nelle.”


Mlada Fronta, Czech Republic

“After hearing about the sudden death of Harper Lee the Czech readers, who have always loved To Kill a Mockingbird, now feel a great loss.

We are glad the new title Go Set a Watchman will be available by the end of April.”


 Am Oved & Yedioth Books, Israel

“The American writer Harper Lee, whose book To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer  Prize and was considered the best literary work of the 20th century, died in her home in Alabama last Friday February 19, 2016. Her book Go Set a Watchman, that also became a world bestseller, is due to be published in Hebrew next week.

The Hebrew translation of Go Set a Watchman joins the new Hebrew translation of To Kill a Mockingbird that was published by Am Oved and Yedioth Books in September 2015.”


Yilin Press, China

“As Ms. Harper Lee’s exclusive Chinese publisher, Yilin Press feels immense sorrow and grief at the passing of this grand author.

Ms. Lee and her masterpieces will forever be engraved in our memory. The goodness, honesty, and bravery for which she advocated,

will forever be a model for the moral excellence of mankind.”


Harlenic Hellas, Greece

“The world has lost a great writer, an extraordinary woman of great talent who generously offered her truths and changed the way people viewed injustice and racial oppression. We are deeply honored to have been Harper Lee’s publisher in Greece. Her legacy will always be with us and the generations to come. Thank you Harper Lee.”