Actor Gregory Peck and novelist Harper Lee in 1962, on the set of the Universal Pictures release To Kill A Mockingbird, in which Peck plays Atticus Finch. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

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Bettmann/Corbis

The Measure Of Harper Lee: A Life Shaped By A Towering Text

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Pulitzer Prize winner and To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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A Lane cake is a layered sponge cake filled with a rich mixture of egg yolks, butter, sugar, raisins and whiskey and topped with boiled icing. Nadia Chaudhury for NPR hide caption

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Nadia Chaudhury for NPR

The Meaning Of A Hero Cast In Shadow, In Harper Lee's 'Go Set A Watchman'

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Every spring, local residents have staged a play based on To Kill a Mockingbird in this courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Debbie Elliott/NPR

A Town Divided Over The Next Chapter Of An Iconic Harper Lee Book

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Harper Lee, seen here receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, actually wrote Go Set a Watchman first. But she set it aside when her editor suggested focusing on Scout's flashbacks instead — and she did, in what became To Kill a Mockingbird. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Author James Patterson, pictured in 2011 in New York City, says independent bookstores are "vital to our future as a country." Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing hide caption

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Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing