American novelist, born in Alabama. Lee's literary reputation is built on her single novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960, Pulitzer Prize), which was an immediate best‐seller, and is now a fixture on school syllabuses all over the world. Narrated by young tomboy, Scout, the book tells the story of a black man, Tom Robinson, falsely accused of raping a white woman. Scout's father, Atticus Finch, is charged with defending him. The novel is an indictment of racism and bigotry in all its forms. After the huge success of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee withdrew completely from the public eye and has only published a handful of short essays and articles since. A childhood friend of Truman Capote, Lee was his research assistant on In Cold Blood (1966).